Press Relase) At the North American International Auto
Show in Detroit, USA, Volkswagen has an impressive study vehicle on
display: the Advanced Activity Concept (AAC). It combines the functions
of a pick-up with the luxury of a top-class sedan. With four-wheel
drive, and powered by a 230 kW (313 hp) V10 TDI diesel engine, this is
an initial clue to the changes that could take place in this vehicle
class within a very short time.
The AAC's front-end styling echoes the Concept D car that was shown last
year ? a large luxury sedan design study from Volkswagen. On the AAC's
extra-long wheelbase, the design team has created a body that is as
dynamic as it is elegant, and resembles no existing vehicle in this
market segment. The A-posts are steeply raked, the side windows form a
single visual unit and the C-posts which slope down at an angle to the
load platform are all significant styling elements that combine to
suggest something of a coupe body style. The load-area cover, with its
end panel that echoes the slope of the C-posts, adds emphasis to the
sporting side of the AAC's character.
As far back as the C-posts, a load-bearing bodyshell is used. The load
platform and rear axle are supported on flanged-on side chassis members.
As a smooth link between the passenger and load areas, a substantial
rail runs all around the pick-up's platform.
In a style similar to the front, an aluminum underride guard is
installed at the rear to provide off-road protection. Above it is the
tailgate, giving access to the load platform, which has strong aluminium
floor strips. A boldly styled lattice grid can be attached above the
load-carrying space if needed.
The AAC's doors are unlocked by a remote control known as the
"Communicator". Not until this is inserted in a special holder on the
top of the dashboard can the engine be started by pressing a separate
Black Alcantara material enhances the appearance of the upper door trim
panels and dashboard. The same material is used for the headliner. Below
the windows there are aluminum strips in the door trims that are
repeated at the appropriate height on the dashboard. All the elements
below these strips are trimmed in high-quality leather, color "Teak".
Aluminum also dominates the center console in the area reserved for the
lever gate of the six-speed automatic transmission. The controls for the
three-position air suspension and the four-wheel-drive functions are
also located here. A cold-store box has been integrated into the lower
part of the center console. Above the switch panel is a navigation
system with a 7-inch color screen that comes to life when the ignition
is switched on. There is a multifunctional navigation guidance display
which also shows which of the AAC's off-road settings are in use.
Since the special rear side doors mean that the body has no B-posts,
Volkswagen has given the AAC front seats with the seat belt mounts
integrated into the upper part of the seat back. Despite the absence of
B-posts, the body's passive safety is unaffected: by way of the door
locks, the roof and floor pan are pinned rigidly together.
The AAC design study is powered by a V10 direct-injection diesel with
twin turbochargers and a balancer shaft. This high-tech unit develops
230 kW (313 hp) at 4000 rpm. One of its most remarkable features is the
exceptionally high peak torque of 750 Newton-meters. Fuel injection is
by a pump-injector system developed jointly by Volkswagen and Bosch.
A six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic manual shift mode
transmits engine power to a permanent four-wheel drive system. When
crossing difficult off-road terrain, an extra-low off-road ratio and two
differential locks can be selected electronically by pressing the
appropriate buttons, so that the AAC maintains its reliable progress in
such conditions. These systems are accompanied by an electronic
differential lock (EDS) at all four driven wheels. The electronic
stability program (ESP) also helps to counteract difficult driving
situations. The AAC concept car has independent suspension with double
wishbones at all four wheels.
Air suspension with three position settings provides optimum ride
conditions both on and off the road. It remains at the center height
setting during the standard driving program, but can be lowered by a
significant amount when driving at high speed. On rough terrain, on the
other hand, the suspension can be fully raised; ground clearance is then
390 millimeters (15.4 in). The difference between the lowest and highest
air suspension positions is 110 millimeters (4.33 in). This study
vehicle possesses luxury features which have so far only been seen on
conventional large luxury sedans.