Car and Driver Magazine'5 Best Trucks' Luxury SUV Award to Volkswagen Top Management for the All-New Touareg at Geneva Auto Show

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., March 4 -- Car and Driver magazine has selected the all-new 2004 Volkswagen Touareg V8 as winner of the Luxury Sport- Utility Vehicle category in this year's "5Best Trucks" competition.

The award was presented today to Dr. Bernd Pischetsrieder, Volkswagen AG chief executive officer, and Dr. Jens Neumann, member of the Board of Management, by Editor-in-Chief of Car and Driver magazine Csaba Csere during a press conference at the 2003 Geneva Auto Show.

Even before its first sale on the market, the Touareg beat out five other impressive contenders to receive the honor from Car and Driver. These worthy competitors included: Cadillac Escalade ESV, Land Rover Range Rover, Lexus GX470, Lincoln Aviator and Volvo XC90.

After testing the Touareg for 5Best Trucks, Car and Driver writers noted, "There are SUVs that are as quick, handle as sharply, or are as capable off- road or as comfortable as our loaded Touareg, but precious few can match the VW in all the above, and certainly not at an estimated as-tested price in the mid-$40,000 range. Get 'em while they last!"

The Car and Driver editors were most impressed with Touareg's luxurious interior amenities, 4.2-liter, 310-horsepower, V8 engine that propels to 60 miles per hour in 7.6 seconds, 7,700-pound towing capacity and 18-inch all- season tires. Other notable features include downhill-assist control, height- adjustable air suspension, 11.8-inch maximum ground clearance, and 33-plus degrees of approach and departure angles.

Frank Maguire, vice president of sales and marketing for Volkswagen of America, Inc. says, "Some questioned whether Volkswagen was capable of making a luxury sport-utility vehicle that could compete in today's highly competitive market. I think Volkswagen has created a unique product that no other carmaker could. We are genuinely pleased that the Touareg has received such a warm welcome from Car and Driver and know that our Drivers will feel the same."

The 5Best Trucks competition held by Car and Driver examined 25 different pickups, vans and sport-utility vehicles in five categories: Luxury Sport- Utility Vehicle, Small Sport-Utility Vehicle, Large Sport-Utility Vehicle, Pickup and Van. Each of the editors drove the vehicles and gave a score from one to 100 based on "behind-the-wheel satisfaction" while driving on a variety of surfaces, with special emphasis on versatility and hauling capacity.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen of America and its affiliates employ approximately 3,000 people in the United States and are responsible for the sale and service of Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini and Volkswagen products through retail networks comprising approximately 800 independent U.S. dealers.

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