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VW Hops Back in Time to Re-introduce the Rabbit

Volkswagen aficionados will be hopping to their local dealerships this summer to welcome the Rabbit back to the German automaker's line. The fifth-generation Golf is going back to its roots with the original Rabbit nameplate in the U. and Canada. The Rabbit was the first Volkswagen and the first foreign car produced in the United States. But it wasn't just its American origins that made it a 1970s icon.

The Rabbit bounced into American hearts with promises of great mileage at a time when the lines at most gas stations snaked around entire city blocks. It also offered a wide array of standard features at an attractive price. But in 1984, the Rabbit badge disappeared to be replaced by the Golf. "The Rabbit was always exclusive to the U. and Canadian markets while the rest of the world had the Golf," said Kerri Martin, Volkswagen's director of brand innovation. But American Volkswagen customers "want a relationship with their cars," according to Martin. "Names like The Thing, Beetle, Fox and Rabbit support this." But the 2006 model is hardly your father's Rabbit or Golf. Unlike its predecessor, the new Rabbit is being made in Wolfsburg, Germany. Its $14,990 price tag for the two-door model includes an advanced ABS braking system, traction control, active front head restraints, front side airbags, air conditioning and anti-theft alarm system with remote locking. The Rabbit's newest features include a standard electro-mechanical steering system and an optional advanced Electronic Stabilization Program. The new model also promises more interior room than ever with a large rear hatch opening and increased legroom. All new Volkswagens come with 24-hour roadside assistance for four years with unlimited mileage. Before the new Rabbit even reached the marketplace, it had won more than 25 awards in over 16 countries, including the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick, the Silver Award.

The Rabbit - or Golf as it is known throughout the rest of the world - is a best-seller with over 25 million vehicles sold over five generations.


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