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Beijing show: Volkswagen's made-in-China Lavida

Small sedan: China's new Bora is based on the previous-generation Golf.

Volkswagen presents not one but two new Jetta-based models at the Beijing show

22 Apr 2008

VOLKSWAGEN introduced two new mid-size Jetta-based models specifically designed for the Chinese market at this week’s Beijing motor show.

The Lavida is said to be the first Volkswagen to be designed and developed entirely in China, and the first outside of Germany. It will soon go into production by the Shanghai-Volkswagen Automotive joint-venture.

The new Bora, on the other hand, was presented by the separate FAW-Volkswagen Automotive joint-venture and, although about 68mm shorter, sits slightly above the Lavida in the Chinese market.

3 center imageBased on the fourth-generation Golf front-drive platform, both are powered by Euro 4 emissions-compliant four-cylinder engines (capacities not confirmed), are available with optional six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmissions and come with climate-control as standard.

While Lavida – as its Spanish name suggests – is being pitched as a lifestyle car for younger buyers, the Bora targets families, even though the two cars are essentially the same size.

Volkswagen is the top-selling European brand in China with a 17 per cent market share and sold a record 780,000 vehicles there last year.

Although the two cars look similar, Volkswagen says they differ significantly both conceptually and visually, describing them as merging German and Chinese design influences.

“Clearly indicative of Volkswagen ‘design DNA’ are characteristics such as the muscular and clear modulations, an unmistakable C-pillar, the trapezoidal line of the headlights, the typical V-shaped radiator grille that is integrated in the lines of the engine hood, and the car’s timeless impression,” said a company statement.

“Simultaneously, the New Bora takes on Chinese elements like the lion dance in its prominent visual alliance of headlamps, radiator grille and bumpers.”

Standard features on both models include ABS, driver and front passenger airbags, power steering, power windows, climate control, MP3-capable audio, 15-inch alloy wheels, sliding sunroof, anti-theft warning system, cruise control and parking sensors.

VW says the Lavida front end with its horizontal lines represents the “Volkswagen face” of the future.

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