Volkswagen has revealed the first official details and picture of its forthcoming compact MPV (multi-purpose vehicle), the Touran. The long-awaited model is based on VW's Golf platform and marks the company's first entry into the compact MPV market segment which was pioneered by Renault's Scenic in 1996.

The Touran is set for European launch early in 2003. Versions sold under other Volkswagen Group badges are possible, though yet to be confirmed.
Volkswagen says that the 'Touran' name is derived from the words 'Tour' and 'Sharan'. 'Tour' symbolises long distance comfort for large groups of people, while the ending '-an' is used to indicate Volkswagen's multi-purpose vehicles.

The Touran is based on the next generation Golf platform (called 'PQ35') and is 4390 mm long, 1790 mm wide and 1630 mm high. Although five seats come as standard, it can also be specified with seven seats. With five seats in use, the load area has a capacity of over 600 litres.

Touran engines will include FSI and TDI powerplants that will be equipped with six-speed gearboxes as standard.

Volkswagen claims that a rigid bodyshell combined with electro-mechanical power steering and entirely new four-link rear suspension mean that Volkswagen will be at the forefront of vehicle dynamics in the segment.

Safety features include active front-seat head restraints, front airbags and side airbags for the front and second rows of seats and three-point seatbelts for all seven seats. ABS, ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) and BAS (Brake Assist System) are further active safety features.

Further technical and pricing details will be available closer to launch.