So, here's VW's fundamental gamble, they sell to my mind as a German car and a German car you can afford.
So how's a new Passat gonna do?
Design for America from the ground up and built in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Playing with fire there perhaps.
But let's see what the product offers.
First of all, as you can see it prints bigger than a Passat traditionally has.
It's also got a new look
and feel, the new style is more like the new Jetta so you start to see the family resemblance moving toward this new look.
The horizontal simplified bars of the front grille, a key part of that.
Now, this is pretty cool.
I'm able to sit behind myself in this new Passat.
I adjusted this seat to where I'd be fine in the front and now I'm sitting behind it.
And I'm fine in the back.
Let me tell you, that hasn't happened with many cars.
So, kudos to VW on that.
They've used part of a longer wheel base in this car and the overall longer body shape to try and get
more room all round, that's all polite blah, blah, blah to say Americans have big fat asses so we better redesign the Passat to really be aimed at them.
They also say this car has lots of tech in it.
What they mean is this car has lots of routine tech for the price.
Nothing in here is cutting edge, we recognize the interface and the dash layup pretty much but it does have a lot of things like Bluetooth and more at a low price.
But nothing here's gonna make you say well that's cool.
Except for those logos up on the eyebrow of the dash, fender on left and right.
That's a fender branded audio system
which VW recently announced and the first time I believe ever that a guitar maker has become the brand of audio in a vehicle, I don't quite get it but yeah we'll see.
Engine choices in here will also be familiar.
We're going to see the 2 and a half liter inline-five gas engine.
Let's see a turbo diesel, a TDI, a 2 liter.
There'll also be a VR6 about 280 horsepower I think.
By the way the turbo diesel combined with the tank capacity is said to be good for an 800 mile range.
You might forget how to use a gas pump the next time you're on
drive with that power train.
Other small bits of mumbo jumbo include the introduction now of an analog clock, kinda taking a page from what, the Infinity or the [unk] which I never had a very good run on this country.
So, kind of a mixed bag of queues and attentions here but this is it, the first Passat made for America in America.
We'll see how it does when it launches July, August of 2011.