Perhaps because the countries are too dense, there are few voices of hard-core off-road vehicles in the European auto industry. Even products like the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and Land Rover Range Rover, which were originally born for off-road vehicles, have gradually evolved in the subsequent market evolution. It has become the appearance of a top luxury SUV.
Although during World War II, Volkswagen was famous for its barrel cars, but for a long time after the war, Volkswagen’s hard-core off-road vehicles have always been blank. Until today, this situation has not been fundamentally resolved. Change. However, when the millennium just arrived, the public also made attempts in this regard. The result of the experiment is the Magellan concept car I will talk about next. For the Chinese market, this concept car is also because it has become the source of the front face of the Great Wall Fengjun pickup, which we will talk about later.
At the North American International Auto Show held in early 2002, Volkswagen launched the Volkswagen Magellan concept car named after Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. Take this as a guess of the Volkswagen brand for future crossovers. And also in the same year, Volkswagen also launched its first SUV model, the first-generation Volkswagen Touareg. As the first SUV model, the Volkswagen Touareg, built on the Volkswagen Group PL71 platform, is positioned similarly to the Audi Q7, both targeting the high-end SUV market. Under such demands, the first-generation Volkswagen Touareg does not have the product demands of a hardcore SUV.
Therefore, the emergence of the Volkswagen Magellan concept car at this time has formed a very distinct and differentiated positioning from the first-generation Volkswagen Touareg. Compared with the comprehensive luxury SUV pursued by the first-generation Volkswagen Touareg, the Volkswagen Magellan concept car further clarifies the demands of hard-core off-road vehicles.
According to Volkswagen’s conceptual vision, the Magellan concept car is defined as a solid and usable off-road vehicle. Based on this, Volkswagen has added product appeals about station wagons, SUVs and pickups to the product definition of the Magellan concept car. , intending to make it a cross-border product between station wagon, SUV and pickup truck. In other words, this Volkswagen Magellan concept car not only needs to meet the product requirements of hard-core off-road vehicles, but also needs to be able to meet the needs of comfortable driving on public roads, and it will also provide a spacious interior space like an MPV. There is no doubt that the concept of comprehensiveness has not been weakened in the Volkswagen Magellan concept car, on the contrary, it has been expanded on the basis of the Touareg.
In order to meet all-round product force demands, the internal layout of the Volkswagen Magellan concept car also adopts a 2+2+2 layout. The roof line is also composed of straight lines to ensure that the three rows of passengers have sufficient headroom. The shape of the D-pillar is also shown in a vertical design. As far as the body design is concerned, the A-pillar of the Volkswagen Magellan concept car forms a large-slope image, moving the visual center of gravity of the side of the vehicle backward.
In terms of the image of the vehicle, the pursuit of hard-core off-road vehicles is also reflected in the bottom structure of the Volkswagen Magellan concept car. The proportion of the hard-core off-road vehicle is completely in line with the ground clearance of the Volkswagen Magellan concept car, and the center point connection line of the front and rear wheels is also lower than the body threshold-these seem to be the characteristics of the non-load-bearing body structure. However, in the definition of the body structure of this model, Volkswagen did not give a clear answer. Under the influence of this series of features, the sense of lightness of the Volkswagen Magellan concept car is refined very well, and the dynamics presented by the narrow and wide image are completely different from the Touareg of the same period.
In terms of detailed design, the Volkswagen Magellan concept car well continued the rounded design concept of the Volkswagen family at that time. A large number of smooth and rounded surfaces constitute the exterior panel of the vehicle, and the side of the body uses prominent wheel eyebrows as a three-dimensional effect. important aspect of presentation. Characteristic lines are weakened under this design concept. This is in line with the trend of the entire car design circle at that time. In order to further emphasize the characteristics of off-road vehicles, the Volkswagen Magellan concept car can also lower the window frame lines and reduce the width of the pillars, so that the permeability of the car has been significantly improved.
The front face shape of the Volkswagen Magellan concept car was quite characteristic at the time. It broke the front face pattern of the Volkswagen family at that time, and the quadrilateral air intake grille existed independently of the headlights and the front face outline. Even looking at it now, this design is very creative. The air intake grille does not appear as a feature that emphasizes the horizontal sense of the front of the car. On the contrary, its large-mouth structure strengthens a longitudinal feature. The shape of the front is the same as that of the body, without too many changes, only the geometric features are arranged in this shape.
The origin of the Volkswagen Magellan concept car and the Chinese market started from this front face. In 2006, Great Wall Motors launched a brand-new Fengjun pickup as a mid-to-high-end product in the pickup market. The front face of the Volkswagen Magellan concept car has been skillfully applied to the mass-produced Wingle pickup. In other words, Great Wall Motor has realized the mass production of the front face of the Volkswagen Magellan concept car through the Wingle pickup. Just like when the Volkswagen Magellan concept car was unveiled, this front face is somewhat weird when it appears on the Fengjun pickup, but fortunately, this does not affect the presentation of the overall image of the vehicle. With reasonable pricing and product features, Wingle pickups have also achieved hot sales and have grown into a series of pickups. With the improvement of Great Wall Motor’s independent research and development capabilities, the design of the Volkswagen Magellan concept car has also been replaced by the family characteristics of Great Wall pickups in the subsequent launch of the Fengjun series pickups.
Going back to the Volkswagen Magellan concept car, the round and uniform curved surface transitions to the rear of the car, ending with a large area of taillights and a lower-sized rear windshield. In order to strengthen the off-road and adventure positioning of the Magellan concept car, a small trailer with the same design style was released along with the concept car. The small trailer exists as a trailer-type small RV. After arriving at the campsite, the bellows design allows it to be stretched to ensure the utilization of the internal space. And with this small trailer, there is also an integral roof box on the roof. Because it is designed separately, this integral roof box fits very well with the vehicle shape of the Volkswagen Magellan concept car. This is also largely due to the fact that the Volkswagen Magellan concept car itself is not as tall as a traditional SUV.
The interior design of the Volkswagen Magellan concept car is also representative at present. The profile of the instrument panel is composed of straight planes, and the traditional instrument panel hood is integrated into the profile above the instrument panel. This coincides with the characteristics of the instrument panel under the glass cockpit architecture that is emphasized now. And inside this feature, liquid crystal display, handheld GPS, quartz clock and other configurations are also arranged. A small LCD display is also added to the steering wheel. The sub-dashboard area has completely become an operating console, and is not connected to the dashboard. There is also a pair of binoculars in front of the sub-dashboard, which is very Magellan-style. The interior color scheme is also dominated by light colors and gray, supplemented by metal plaques for embellishment.
In terms of power, the Volkswagen Magellan concept car is equipped with a 4.0L W8 engine from the Passat of the same period, with a maximum output of 270 horsepower and a maximum torque of 370 Nm. It is matched with Tiptronic automatic transmission and 4motion full-time four-wheel drive system. The suspension system adopts air suspension and is equipped with electronic differential lock. Compared with the hard-core SUV in the traditional sense, there are still some differences. The configuration of the power chassis is on par with the Touareg.
After its debut at the North American International Auto Show in 2002, Volkswagen had planned to mass-produce this concept car in the next two years, thus forming a differentiated positioning from the Touareg. However, this plan was not implemented later, and the product with a similar positioning became the Alltrack model of Volkswagen Passat.