Saturday, September 17, 2011

Minivan of The Day: September 16, 2011 (Belated)

Today's car of the day is Siku's 1995 Volkswagen Sharan.

The Volkswagen Sharan is a large MPV produced by the German automaker Volkswagen since 1995.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Volkswagen Sharan

Another recent purchase from pjedsel (thanks John!), this one sports a cool bicycle hanging from a rack on the hatch.

The name Sharan is derived from a Persian word meaning "Carrier of Kings". The Volkswagen Group subsequently rebadged the Sharan in 1996, and sold it as the SEAT Alhambra alongside the Sharan. All variants were produced at the joint venture plant AutoEuropa in Portugal, alongside the closely-related Ford Galaxy. Each of the three MPV models had its own subtle differences in exterior, and, for the Galaxy, in interior design. The first generation's initial design was completed under Greg M Greeson, an American designer employed in Volkswagen's Advanced Design Studio in Duesseldorf, Germany from 1989-1990.

As of 2007, the annual production for the Sharan is in the 50,000 unit range; it is sold in Europe, South Africa and some Asia-Pacific and Latin American countries. In Mexico it was available with the 1.8L Turbo 4 cil 150 hp (112 kW) with 5 speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox in Comfortline trim only, while in Argentina it is available with the 1.8L Turbo and the 1.9L TDI 115 hp 4-cylinder engines, in both 5-speed manual and 5-speed Tiptronic transmissions in Trendline trim only.

In total VW almost sold 670.000 units of its Sharan over 15 years of time. The Sharan is not sold in the United States and Canada. Originally this was due to an agreement between Ford and Volkswagen, leaving the market free from competition for Ford's Aerostar minivan. More recently, Volkswagen decided not to introduce the Sharan in North America, ceased developing the Microbus concept, and instead introduced a badge-engineered variant of the Chrysler minivans as the Routan. This was launched in 2009, and replaced the Sharan in Mexico, the only North American country in which it was sold.

Oddly enough, Volkswagen would rather sell a rebadged Dodge Caravan in the USA than bring the current generation Sharan stateside.

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