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by David Zalstein

The Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan concept has been revealed ahead of its premiere at tomorrow’s Frankfurt motor show, previewing the successor to the Golf Plus.

Spied last month, the five-seat Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan concept measures in at 4338mm long, 1870mm wide and 1578mm high and rides on a 2685mm wheelbase.

That makes it 134mm longer than the previous Golf Plus and 83mm longer, 126mm taller and 8mm wider than the new Mark VII Golf on which it’s based. It’s also 224mm shorter than the Golf wagon unveiled in March at this year’s Geneva motor show.

Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan Concept - 5

Wider than its predecessor by 48mm, the compact minivan concept’s front and rear overhangs have also been reworked with 20mm lost at the front and 46mm gained at the rear to help generate more luggage space.

Featuring 60:40 split-fold rear bench seats, which can slide forwards and backwards by up to 180mm (up 20mm), the Sportsvan offers a 498-litre boot – up 74L on the Golf Plus and 118L on the Golf but 107L shy of the Golf wagon. This is expandable to 1512L with the rear seats folded flat while the front passenger seat can also be folded fully forward to create a 2484mm-long load space.

Expected to go on sale in the UK in mid-2014 under a name yet to be confirmed, the Sportsvan will be powered by four turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engines, ranging in tune from 63kW to 110kW, and three diesel engines – 66kW and 81kW 1.6-litre units and a 110kW 2.0-litre. Incorporating stop-start and regenerative braking technologies, all engines (except for the 63kW petrol) will be available with a dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan Concept - 6

Volkswagen claims a Sportsvan BlueMotion model, propelled by the 1.6-litre turbo-diesel, will deliver fuel economy of 3.7 litres per 100km – 0.4L/100km off the 81kW 2.0-litre turbo-diesel-powered Golf wagon BlueMotion’s best of 3.3L/100km.

The first Golf to offer steering wheel heating as an option, the Golf Sportsvan will come with U-shaped LED daytime running lights (as seen on the new Golf R) and a new blind spot monitor with parking space exist assist. A five-inch touchscreen, variable cargo floor and cargo space cover will also be included along with a raft of current passive and active safety systems.

Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan Concept - 8

With the Golf Plus first launching in 2005 based on the Mark V Golf, Volkswagen expects the new Golf Sportsvan’s top ten markets will be Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Russia, Belgium, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.

With the Golf Plus never having been sold in Australia, Volkswagen Australia general manager of communications Karl Gehling told CarAdvice, with the five- and seven-seat people-mover segment currently filled by the Caddy and Caddy Maxi respectively, “We are not planning to offer any further models in this segment.”

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