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Volkswagen has moved ahead with another round of on-the-road trials for the car it will produce at its Chattanooga plant.

An early version of the midsize sedan has been sent to "a hot location" for testing, said Guenther Scherelis, general manager of communication for VW's local operations.

He wouldn't say where.

Scherelis said the testing is part of the refining process for the vehicle that won't be produced until early next year.

He said local VW CEO Frank Fischer is taking part in the road tests.

At the end of 2009, prototype building of the car finished in Germany. Then, workers at the Chattanooga plant started assembling so-called pre-series vehicles.

"There are three sets of pre-series cars we will build," Fischer said recently. "The focus is not so much on production but on research and development issues."

The first round of test drives took place in June in temperatures as high as 125 degrees. Officials wouldn't say where those trials took place. But, a photographer captured and the Times Free Press published photos of what is believed to have been the early version of the vehicle undergoing test drives.

VW is building a $1 billion plant at Enterprise South industrial park. The carmaker plans to produce 150,000 vehicles annually at the Chattanooga plant and employ over 2,000 workers.

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