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Volkswagen Santana

Tue, 30 Oct 2012

The Volkswagen Santana is a motoring icon in China. Visit Shanghai and the streets are clogged with scores of the sedans doing duty as taxis and official cars almost unaltered from the original 1980s design. Over 4 million have been sold in the last 29 years.

This all-new car was designed mainly in the Wolfsberg design studio but with significant input from Simon Loasby's team at Shanghai Volkswagen. While it's still a traditional three-box sedan, it features more contemporary proportions and more space-efficient packaging with more interior space within its 2,603mm wheelbase.

And while no amount of facelifting could truly make the venerable old model fit in with VW's latest design language, the new car toes the party line perfectly, while adding a little of its own character through features such as its large headlamps and concave lower door surfacing.

The interior is also very much in line with the current VW themes, with a very conventional layout and architecture but with China-specific color and trim.

The car was revevealed in Wolfsberg, Germany, despite its Chinese origins, underlining the car's huge importance to the continued growth of the VW Group. The Santana's sister car – the new Jetta – was announced at the Chengdu motor show in September.

Volkswagen Santana gallery>>