German carmaker Volkswagen will introduce the new Sharan, the most frugal MPV of its class in the world. At the Geneva International Auto Show will be revealed a completely new generation of this best seller. Everything about it is new. The hallmark of the new model is a complete design concept that includes the extremely flexible EasyFold seating system, high-end quality, uncompromising safety and different clever details. This comfortable multi-purpose vehicle in the upper B segment of the market has been tailored to families with two or more children and high-mileage business users with a need for extra space. In the first markets where it is available orders for the new Volkswagen can be placed from as early as the end of March, with the full launch beginning in the summer.
Premiere for a life on the move:
The new Sharan is the most frugal MPV of its class in the world
At 5.5 litres / 100km (51.4 British mpg), the Volkswagen sets a world best in its class for fuel economy
New 'EasyFold' seating concept with up to seven seats
First MPV with automatic main beam control (Light Assist)
With over 600,000 units sold, Volkswagen's Sharan is the favourite vehicle of countless families all over Europe. Coming now, with a world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show (4th to 14th March), is a completely new generation of this best seller. Equipped for the first time with sliding doors in the back, the 2010 Sharan has been enhanced in every area. There are only two parts that the new and the old Sharan have in common: the sun visors. That's it! Everything else - every screw, every exterior and interior part and all of the technology, including the TDI and TSI engines (103kW / 140PS to 147kW / 200PS) and transmission systems (DSG optional) - is new. Sharan 3.0, as it were, offering world-record performance in fuel efficiency: at 5.5 litres per 100km (51,4 mpg), the 140PS Sharan 2.0 TDI achieves lower fuel consumption than any other MPV in this class.
The hallmark of the new Sharan is a complete design concept that includes the extremely flexible EasyFold seating system (up to seven easily adjustable seats), high-end quality, uncompromising safety (seven airbags, Light Assist automatic main beam control, bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running and position light) and numerous clever details. Also new to this generation of Sharan are adaptive chassis control (DCC) and a level regulating system. This comfortable multi-purpose vehicle in the upper B segment of the market has been tailored to families with two or more children and high-mileage business users with a need for extra space.
The new Sharan's drive and handling matches the levels of comfort and dynamic response provided by the excellent Passat. Added convenience and safety is provided by an electronic handbrake and the second-generation parking manoeuvre assistant. This means automatic steering for parking in even smaller spaces, including on pavements, between trees and even on corners, plus now, for the first time on an MPV, for parking at an angle to the traffic. Cutting edge entertainment systems, a huge, electrically operated panoramic sliding roof (with a 300% bigger opening than with a conventional sliding roof) and a powerful 3-zone climate control system guarantee great travelling conditions at any time of the year. Available in Trendline, Comfortline and Highline versions, even the base model of the Sharan is supplied with features such as semi-automatic air-conditioning ('Climatic') and radio/CD system ('RCD 210'). As the only vehicle of its class to offer this, the third generation of this MPV will again be available with four-wheel drive (Sharan 2.0 TDI 4Motion with 140PS). In the first markets where it is available orders for the new Volkswagen can be placed from as early as the end of March, with the full launch beginning in the summer.
Four frugal engines
The Sharan's four direct injection turbo petrol (TSI) and turbo diesel (TDI) engines are up to 21 percent more fuel-efficient! The two TSI engines deliver 110kW / 150PS and 147kW / 200PS, while the TDIs develop 103kW / 140PS and 125kW / 170PS. With power outputs of up to 170PS the engines use a start-stop system and energy recuperation (recovery of kinetic energy, which gets temporarily stored in the battery). With average consumption of 5.5 litres per 100km (51.4 mpg, 145g/km of CO), the 140PS version of the Sharan 2.0 TDI - top speed 194 km/h (119 mph) - sets a new benchmark for fuel efficiency in this segment of the market! The theoretical driving range is correspondingly impressive: 1,273 kilometres (805 miles) from its 70 litre fuel tank. Both TDIs are also fitted with an SCR catalytic converter (SCR = selective catalytic reduction), which specifically eliminates oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and makes the Sharan, even as a turbo diesel, one of the cleanest MPVs in the world.
For the first time, all of these Euro-5 engines will be available in combination with Volkswagen's agile and efficient direct shift gearbox (DSG) systems - the automatics of the new age! In the case of the 200PS TSI, DSG comes as standard.
Design and dimensions
Thanks to the turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, every version of the new Sharan has gained significant extra agility. Completely new styling reinforces this. Its concise front and rear contours, in particular, plus its prominent wheel arches, create a totally new street presence. The vehicle's relative proportions also has a more dynamic effect, with the new model - at 4.85 metres in length - being 22 centimetres longer than the old Sharan. Its width has also grown, adding 9.2 centimetres (measured from door handle to door handle at the front) to now measure 1.9 metres. At the same time its height is now 1.2 centimetres lower, at 1.72 metres. The result is a fascinating interplay of proportions and a very powerful overall impression. The reduced height, however, does not come at the expense of interior headroom.
The third generation Sharan is the company's first MPV range to be designed by Walter de Silva (Group Chief Designer) and Klaus Bischoff (Brand's Chief Designer) based totally on the new Volkswagen design DNA matrix. The design of the vehicle body, which is both appealing and functional, is thus epitomised by clear, horizontal lines. It is fresh, yet certainly not dictated by any transient fashion. The aim of the design is rather to create with its balanced proportions and minimal lines an ideal basis for giving the body an extremely energetic look.
Front end: Following the new DNA, the Sharan unmistakably reflects the new era Volkswagen design, especially in the typical VW front end with its strong emphasis on horizontal planes and a clearly defined shape. A very elegant look is created by the gloss black bars across the radiator grille, the integrated chrome clips and the VW logo, also in chrome. The double headlights (with daytime running lights) incorporated into the V-contour of the bonnet can be ordered both in the standard and bi-xenon versions. In addition, as a new feature on the Sharan, there will also be a further headlight version with automatic main beam control (Light Assist). Based on a camera system, this dynamic main beam regulator detects both oncoming traffic and the vehicles in front and adjusts the beam such that nobody gets blinded (the headlight is partially masked) and the best possible illumination of the carriageway can also be achieved for the driver. If the Sharan is ordered with bi-xenon headlights, a newly designed LED daytime running and position light is also included within the headlamp module. It is made up of 15 individual LEDs that are positioned inside the module in a concise pattern.
Under the body-coloured bumper is a further air inlet and, on the left and right, fog lamps with optional indicator light function (standard on the Sharan Highline). Varying by equipment line, Volkswagen uses chrome trim in this area as well. If the Sharan is ordered with bi-xenon lights, the indicator light function is integrated there within the headlamp module.
Rear end: The rear look of the Sharan is just as clearly structured as that of the front. The visually dominant elements here are the concise roof-edge spoiler, the very deep tailgate (sill height: 0.67 metres) and the very large rear lights, which match the headlamps and also create an unmistakable appearance at night. The tailgate itself can optionally be opened and closed electrically.
Side profile: A distinctive feature of the Sharan is its smooth side profile. The background to this is that in designing the Sharan, De Silva and Bischoff put particular emphasis on the homogeneity of the vehicle's surfaces, as - allied to the relatively long wheelbase of 2.92 metres and the MPV's overall length - it makes the integration of the sliding doors perfect. The position of the door handles to the left and right of the B-pillar is extremely practical, as it enables the driver or passenger to open the front or rear door with single movement of the hand, without changing position. Anyone with small children in tow will appreciate this feature! The fact that the sliding doors open to the rear also creates an extremely large opening and thus easy access into the back.
The designers also gave a unique feel to the geometric, clearly defined look of the side windows. They sit relatively low on the vehicle, conveying a sense of airiness and transparency. The bottom edge of the row of windows rises dynamically at front and rear, giving the roof's A and D pillars a character of their own.
The new Sharan will be available in three equipment versions: Trendline (base version), Comfortline (mid-level version) and Highline (the most exclusive version). It will be sold in nine different colours. In standard configuration the MPV is initially a five-seater (2:3). In addition to this, there will also be a so-called '6-seater pack' and a '7-seater pack'. As a 6-seater, the Sharan's second and third rows of seating each get fitted with two seats, including cushioned armrests (2:2:2), with the second row then no longer having a middle seat. Instead, the two remaining seats are positioned more centrally and thus offer even greater comfort. The 6-seater is thus ideal as the business version. Where the customer opts for the 7-seater, the second row again has three seats, as in the 5-seater version (2:3:2). The 6 and 7-seater versions of the Sharan are supplied with several added features across all equipment lines. These include a 3-zone (Climatronic) air conditioning system, incorporating a rear air conditioning unit for separate climate control in the back (the third zone).
Sharan Trendline: While the term 'base model' is correct for the Sharan Trendline in terms of model hierarchy, it certainly does not accurately describe the level of equipment - for even this Sharan is already well equipped as standard! In terms of safety, for instance, the standard equipment features seven airbags (including a knee airbag) on the driver's side, the ESP electronic stabilisation programme (including brake assist and trailer stabilisation), tyre pressure indicator, automatic activation of hazard warning lights in the event of sudden, hard braking and electric child locks for the rear doors and rear window. Also a standard component is the electric handbrake with hill-start assistant. On the outside the Trendline equipment includes two chrome strips in the top radiator grille, electrically heated and adjustable mirrors, daytime running lights, 16-inch alloy wheels with 205 tyres, tinted windows and all body-coloured trims.
On the inside the Sharan Trendline is equipped with attractive fabric seats (in 'Titanium Black' with the 'Move' pattern), height-adjustable driver's seat, matt chrome decorative trim, up to 33 storage compartments (!), height-adjustable arm rest (which can also be moved back and forth and contains a further storage compartment), cargo floor with separate, lockable compartments (5-seater), luggage area cover and automatic door-locking when the vehicle pulls away (can be deactivated). As outlined above, in terms of functional equipment many features come as standard, e.g. central locking with RF remote control, electro-mechanical, speed-regulated power steering, fully adjustable steering column, electric windows all round, ('Climatic') semi-automatic air-conditioning and the 'RCD 210' radio/CD system with four loudspeakers - a long, but by no means exhaustive list!
Sharan Comfortline (as Trendline, plus features including): In purely external terms the more refined Sharan Comfortline stands out from the Trendline model by virtue of features such as its 16-inch ('Memphis') alloy wheels with 215 tyres, a chrome rim around the bottom radiator grille, the side windows' chrome border, black roof rails and a windscreen also fitted with heat reflective glass.
Inside the high quality 'Bridge' upholstery in 'Titanium Black' or 'Palladium Grey', plus seats with sportier contours and decorative inlays in the 'Triangle Titan' design produce a more refined feel. The driver's seat can also be adjusted electrically (height, tilt, forwards and back) and has a manual 4-position lumbar support function. In addition, there are pockets and folding tables on the back of both front seats. For loading long objects, the front passenger seat can also be completely folded over. It too is height adjustable and provides lumbar support.
The tray on the centre console is provided in this range with a cover, while in the roof, in addition to the standard storage compartment, there is also a compartment for glasses and in front of each of the outer seats of the second row there is another storage compartment integrated into the floor. On top of all this on the functional side come details such as the automatic anti-glare rear-view mirror, rain sensor, automatic running light activation (including 'Coming home' and 'Leaving home' function), indirect background lighting and a cruise control system.
Sharan Highline (as Comfortline, plus features including): The Sharan Highline cuts an even more elegant figure. Externally features such as 17-inch ('Sydney') alloy wheels with 225 tyres, heated windscreen washer jets and chrome-trimmed roof rails set this top-of-the-range version apart.
On the inside the Highline equipment includes contoured sports seats in leather / Alcantara (available in 'Titanium Black', 'Palladium Grey' or 'Corn Silk'), decorative trim in brushed aluminium, heated front seats, floor lights for the front and second row seats, the 'Plus' multi-function display, a leather steering wheel and leather gearshift knob.
Special options: Over and above the three equipment lines and seating configurations the Sharan can also be tailored to satisfy customers' individual demands. Technical highlights include the new Light Assist system (automatic main beam control), electric sliding doors and tailgate, a new generation 2.0 Park Assist (automatic steering function for parking, now even in extremely small gaps, on pavements, between trees and - for the first time - at an angle to the traffic), a 300 watt Dynaudio sound system and the 'Keyless Access' lock and ignition system. Caravanners, horse and boat owners will also be delighted by the new, pivoting tow-bar. In fact, in many respects the Sharan leaves the normal boundaries for this class of vehicle far behind. Not, however, in one aspect: extremely reasonable prices!
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