Volkswagen turns the Multivan into an adventure rig with the PanAmericana

Volkswagen is expanding the Multivan lineup with a more rugged-looking model named PanAmericana. In many ways, the PanAmericana is to the regular Multivan what the new Alltrack is to the Golf SportWagen.

Roughly the size of a Mercedes-Benz Metris, the Multivan PanAmericana gains a couple of extra inches of ground clearance thanks in part to a beefier suspension and model-specific 17-inch alloy wheels, as well as black plastic cladding on both bumpers and on both sides. Brushed aluminum-look trim adds a premium touch to the look, while echoing the aforementioned Alltrack as well as Audi’s allroad-badged wagons.

The Multivan is designed to haul people, not goods; that’s a task best left to the Transporter model. Volkswagen has consequently masked its utilitarian roots by adding tinted rear windows, smoked LED tail lamps, and PanAmericana-only emblems on both B-pillars. Inside, the van receives leather upholstery on the steering wheel and the on the gear lever, automatic AC, and stainless steel pedals.

No one likes muddy carpet, so buyers who plan on using the PanAmericana as an adventure rig can order a steel-plated floor in lieu of carpet. Alternatively, motorists seeking a more upscale look can select 18-inch alloy wheels and two-tone leather upholstery.

Volkswagen offers the Multivan with five turbocharged four-cylinder TDI engines whose outputs range from 84 to 201 horsepower. All of them are equipped with a start/stop system in order to keep fuel economy in check. Front-wheel drive comes standard, but Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system is offered at an extra cost.

The Volkswagen Multivan PanAmericana will go on sale in Germany and in a handful of other European markets in the coming weeks. Pricing information hasn’t been announced yet, but it’s of little interest to us because Volkswagen currently has no concrete plans to sell the Multivan — let alone the PanAmericana model — on our side of the pond.

Product Review

Chris is the virtual co-pilot phone-obsessives need in their car

Driving while using your phone is dangerous, and often illegal. Meet Chris, the digital assistant for your car that wants to help keep your hands off your phone, and your eyes on the road.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Mobile

New gold finish makes Frederique Constant’s hybrid smartwatch flashier than ever

Frederique Constant has found considerable success with its luxury hybrid smartwatch, the Hybrid Manufacture, and has launched several new color schemes to help bring it even more attention.
Wearables

Alpina makes its AlpinerX smartwatch even more attractive with new colors

Alpina has introduced four new colors to its AlpinerX smartwatch range, breaking the usually sporty watch out into a more everyday casual design, and given the tech a slight makeover too.
Gaming

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Cars

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe is an exercise in form-over-function design

Porsche expanded its lineup of SUVs with a swoopier evolution of the Cayenne named Cayenne Coupe. Don't let the name fool you: it still has four doors. It stands out with a fastback-like roofline that's lower than the Cayenne's.
Cars

Formula 1 is putting data in the driver’s seat, and not all racers are happy

After a single weekend of racing, a Formula 1 pit crew typically pulls around 2TB of data from the car. Everything, from tire pressure to the temperature of the track, is recorded and analyzed in the name of boosting performance -- and not…
Cars

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.
Cars

Tesla revives its referral program with chances to win a Roadster

Tesla has revived its referral program that ended in February because of cost pressures. This time around the perks aren't quite as diverse, though it does offer regular chances to win a Roadster or Model Y.
Cars

Tesla ends scheduled servicing because electric cars need less maintenance

Tesla will longer offer scheduled maintenance plans, switching to an "as needed" model. This reflects the fact that electric cars need less regular maintenance than gasoline or diesel cars.
Cars

The go kart-like Mini Cooper will soon add zero emissions to its resume

Mini is in the final stages of developing an electric version of the Cooper. The 2020 Cooper SE will receive powertrain components from the BMW i3, including a 181-horsepower electric motor and battery technology.
Product Review

By adding features, tech, and all-wheel drive, Mazda puts the 3 in a class of one

Since its introduction in 2003, Mazda’s compact Mazda3 has been a mainstay of the brand’s driver-oriented strategy. Mazda now plans to move upmarket, and the all-new 2019 Mazda3 offers some clues about how that’s going to work.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Cars

Tesla Model 3 vulnerability exposed at Pwn2Own; hackers take home the car

A Tesla Model 3 vulnerability was exposed at the Pwn2Own hacking competition. The hackers, who were able to display a message on the electric vehicle's internet browser, won $35,000 and took home the car.