VW will launch new sedan no earlier than 2007

The 'C 1' will use more existing components; basic price will be less than 35,000 euros

Wolfsburg, Germany. The VW group is reworking its C 1 project, which will be positioned between the Passat and its luxury Phaeton models.

Product strategists are examining a crossover concept with van and station wagon elements.

Significantly, to contain costs, more existing components will be used for the five-seater than originally planned.

VW has moved away from the idea of using the platform of the new Quattroporte by joint-venture partner Maserati for the C 1. With a length of approximately five meters the new model would have been positioned too closely to the Phaeton, which is a difficult car to sell.

VW has postponed production startup for the new car by a year to 2007. It was originally planned for mid-2006.

To enable the C 1 to hold its ground against already established premium-segment competitors such as the BMW 5, it will become a sporty and at the same time comfortable cruiser.

The idea is to offer the auto with air suspension, similar to the system under development for the Audi A6.

Six-cylinder gasoline engines with direct injection and high-torque diesel motors will provide propulsion and acceptable consumption figures.

VW plans the base price for the C 1 to be less than 35,000 euros.