PARIS 2010: VW takes wraps off new Passat
The latest Passat features a completely new look styled by Klaus Bischoff (head of design, Volkswagen) and Walter de Silva (head of design, Volkswagen Group), with every single body panel apart from the roof being new.
Measuring 4,769 mm in length (Estate 4,771mm) the new Passat is marginally longer than the car it replaces (+4mm) and at 1,820mm wide and 1,474mm tall (Estate 1,519mm) it retains the same proportions.
Inside, there's a revised dashboard with new dials and trim finishes while the centre console has also been overhauled. VW also promises new seats that can be specified to both heat and cool their occupants and even feature a massage function for the driver and front seat passenger.
Petrol engine options comprise a 1.4-litre TSI engine developing 122PS, a 1.8-litre TSI unit with 160PS, a 2.0-litre TSI 210PS engine and a range-topping 3.6-litre V6 producing 300PS.
The diesel range starts with the most efficient engine, the 1.6-litre TDI unit producing 105PS, which in the BlueMotion model also includes aerodynamic modifications, Stop/Start and battery regeneration, giving the new Passat a combined figure of 4.1L/100km (68.8mpg) while emitting 109g/km of CO2.
Joining the 1.6-litre TDI is a 2.0-litre TDI engine available in two power outputs – 140PS and 170PS. Each of the engine ranges can be specified with a choice of manual or DSG gearboxes.
Safety and comfort technologies include features previously only seen in the Touareg and Phaeton luxury models. There's an optional new City emergency braking function, a part of the Automatic Distance Control (ADC) system, which automatically engages the brakes at speeds below 29km/hr (18mph) should an unavoidable collision be sensed by the vehicle. The system is also able to accelerate the vehicle automatically should it detect an imminent rear end collision providing the vehicle sees a clear space ahead.
In addition, the new Passat can be fitted with an automatic fatigue detection system that monitors the driver’s inputs and automatically emits an audible and visual warning to recommend a break if required.
The new Passat can also be specified with the XDS electronic transverse differential for the first time. The system, which is standard on the Golf GTI, acts to reduce understeer and improve traction in slippery conditions, making the new Passat feel more responsive as a result.
Both the saloon and Estate models are due to go on sale from later this year at which time pricing and specification details will be announced.