Volkswagen's longest-ever SUV debuts in a market known to love a spacious second row.
Volkswagen's product and concept flood at this week's Shanghai motor show continues with the seven-seat SMV concept, developed through the Chinese-market FAW-Volkswagen joint venture.
The SMV's stand-out feature, apart from advancing Volkswagen's familiar styling language, is without doubt its size: at 5100mm long, it stretches beyond the Atlas (Teramont in China) to become the company's largest SUV yet. It is therefore also the longest model built on the MQB platform that goes all the way down to the Polo.
Both the SMV and Atlas reach well past the first-generation Touareg SUV that launched in 2002 at a 4754mm overall length, with the current model stretching only 120mm beyond that.
The SMV is officially a concept, but there is clearly little about its design that would struggle to make the leap to production. Indeed, a production version is slated to hit the Chinese market in the next two years, with 2.0-litre TSI petrol and 220kW/500Nm turbo 2.5-litre VR6 petrol engines to choose from.
Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel-drive and seven-speed DSG both feature as standard.
The SMV's interior is still to be revealed, but it is clear – if only by the tall roofline and its Chinese-market focus – that space in the back two rows should be fairly commodious.
Being an FAW-Volkswagen model, it may be that the SMV has only been engineered in left-hand drive and to domestic design standards, which would conceivably rule out an Australian launch.
This would see the SMV join the Atlas as verboten models for Volkswagen Australia in the popular large seven-seat SUV segment.
Speaking with CarAdvice today, Volkswagen Australia communications manager Paul Pottinger said: “Volkswagen’s rollout of EVs, which is hoped to commence in Australia from 2022, will in time mirror the conventional range.”