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VOLKSWAGEN'S CITY CAR OF FUTURE MAKES FIRST NORTH AMERICA APPEARANCE AT DETROIT AUTO SHOW

VOLKSWAGEN'S CITY CAR OF FUTURE MAKES FIRST NORTH AMERICA APPEARANCE
 AT DETROIT AUTO SHOW
 DETROIT, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- At a news conference held today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Volkswagen showed reporters for the first time in North America its new space-efficient Chico concept car, which is designed for use in densely populated cities.
 Volkswagen said it developed the Chico to prove an ecological vehicle can meet the urban driving conditions of the near future and still be practical, stylish and safe. Chico's innovative design features and advanced hybrid drive concept -- which is powered by both electricity and gas -- offer more environmental protection, a judicious use of road space for congested city roads, a high degree of comfort, safety and above-average economy.
 "With the Chico, Volkswagen is really establishing a whole new class of automobile," said Patrick Ayoub, design director of Volkswagen AG's Dusseldorf Advanced Design Studio. "The design is based on the fact that there are many social changes taking place in the world. These changes, along with growing environmental considerations, make the Chico the compact, urban car of the future."
 At today's conference, Volkswagen also displayed its new 178- horsepower Corrado SLC, the first production vehicle to be sold in the U.S. equipped with the German automaker's award-winning, narrow-angle six-cylinder engine. In addition, the company's long-awaited replacement for the venerable and lovable Vanagon -- which was first produced as the Microbus in 1949 -- was shown for the first time in the Midwest.
 As a company that used four-cylinder engines to power itself to the world's fourth-largest automaker, Volkswagen is breaking loose with tradition and will equip its VR6 engine in both the Corrado and Passat in 1992. Volkswagen received Popular Science magazine's recognition for one of the year's "greatest achievements in science and technology," for its design of a six-cylinder, 170-plus horsepower engine that fits into virtually the same space as a standard four-cylinder.
 The company's new generation van, named EuroVan, is bigger, better and more powerful, making it ideal for the active lifestyle of the '90s. Thirty-five percent larger than the average minivan, the new Volkswagen seats seven adults and their luggage and its transverse-mounted, "broad- torque," 2.5-liter, five-cylinder, fuel-injected, 109 horsepower engine is 21 percent more powerful than its much beloved predecessor.
 With front-wheel drive, better fuel economy and a full range of standard equipment and options, the EuroVan is a versatile, spacious and fully equipped vehicle. Slated to be available in four different models -- the CL, GL, MV and CV -- the EuroVan accommodates weekend recreation and errand running.
 More on Chico
 The Volkswagen Chico on display throughout the Detroit show is a 2+2 hybrid-powered prototype featuring constant-demand fully automatic switchover between conventional and electric power. The car's drivetrain uses gas combustion mainly during acceleration and at speeds in excess of 37 mph. The electric engine is engaged during constant- speed driving in heavier city traffic and provides clean and quiet driving.
 "The hybrid concept helps eliminate the typical disadvantages of all-electric-drive vehicles, which usually offer low performance and limited range of operation. The Chico's conventional drivetrain assures a large radius of operation and good performance," Ayoub said.
 -0- 1/9/92
 /CONTACT: Larry Nutson, 313-340-5054, or Tony Fouladpour, 313-340-5064, both of Volkswagen; or the Volkswagen Exhibit at the North American International Auto Show, 313-393-4039/ CO: Volkswagen United States, Inc. ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: PDT


ML -- DE006 -- 8170 01/09/92 11:04 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 9, 1992
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