Volkswagen is - finally - bringing its mid-sized MPV kicking and screaming into the new era with the new 2015 VW Touran.
Caught by our spy photographers in Germany, the new Touran is undertaking final shakedown tests ahead of a likely debut in early 2015.
VW Touran adopts MQB
The current Volkswagen Touran is an ageing people carrier now and would have been deemed obsolete by some upstart eastern manufacturers on shorter lifecycles.
Launched in 2003 on the Mk5 Golf underpinnings, the Touran has soldiered on for over a decade thanks to a mid-life facelift and the relative strength of the now-defunct PQ35 architecture which underpinned a generation of class-leading Volkswagens.
So it's no surprise that the next Touran is going to adopt the modular MQB platform, which has sired the new VW Golf Mk7, Audi TT, Skoda Octavia and Seat Leon, to name but a few of the VW Group products spun off the flexible new platform.
This will bring standard front-wheel drive and the option, although likely non-appearance in the UK, of four-wheel drive versions. Engines will benefit from downsizing and cylinder deactivation, while DSG twin-clutch transmisisons will be offered.
So what's new on the 2015 VW Touran?
Clearly not much in the wardrobe department, judging by these spy photos taken near the Nurburgring. But then the Touran has always been designed wilfully like a box on wheels - taking the Golf aesthetic and shaping it square for maximum space to accommodate seven bodies.
The long wheelbase of the Touran in these photographs suggests it will again include a third row of occasional pop-up seats.
Here's a clue to the Touran's purpose in life. Back in 2003 when the car was first unveiled, Volkswagen mistakenly distributed the first photographs in the early days of digital pictures and wired communication in the media industry. The filenames referred to the car as a brotwagen, or breadvan.
Might seem a flippant aside, but it speaks volumes about the car's intent. High-ups at Volkswagen see the Touran as a baby T5 Caravelle, a utilitarian people carrier which will age gracefully.