The sketch above is that of a Volkswagen 7-seater SUV based on the Passat platform, which will rival other vehicles in the segment such as the Toyota Highlander, Mazda CX-9 and the Honda Pilot. There’s also the long time favorite Volvo XC90. The new Volkswagen 7-seater SUV will slot in between the Tiguan and the Touareg.
You might find it odd at first that a 7-seater is positioned under the 5-seater Touareg. The differentiation is that the Touareg has a premium positioning and shares a platform with high end cars such as the Q7 and the Cayenne, while this new 7-seater will be Passat-derived.
From what we understand, the SUV is aimed at the US market. Volkswagen currently doesn’t have a 7 seater there, and has resorted to rebadging a Chrysler minivan as the Volkswagen Routan as a stop gap to fill that market segment. I’m guessing the Touran is too small for the USA, and the Sharan is too expensive.
Theophilus Chin previously rendered something like this (second picture above) – a Volkswagen 7-seater SUV that’s more utilitarian than premium, but when he did it, he based it off the Amarok, the same way that Toyota built the Fortuner on the Hilux and Mitsubishi built the Pajero Sport on the Triton. But the decision to make it based on the Passat platform should ensure lower weight and increased comfort as well as dynamics.
A concept version of the 7-seater will be showcased at the 2013 Detroit Motor Show this month.