The Next Level has been Reached
The new Volkswagen Passat is already here and according to engineers at Volkswagen the company did not set out to make a new car but rather their ambition was to make a new Passat. The Passat was first launched in 1973 and since then there have been approximately 15 million Passat’s sold world wide – that is right I said 15 million. This roughly translates to around 1000 Passat’s sold globally everyday since then. That is an amazing figure and speaks volumes of the way the car has been perceived and received worldwide.
It hardly comes as a surprise then the German car manufacturer was looking to revamp the Passat. Volkswagen’s philosophy dealing with the Passat is to make it more attractive to buyers of higher end cars. Volkswagen has added a host of distinctive features that will no doubt make it more up market and there are unmistakable styling cues inspired by the higher segment Phaeton. Choosing to style it based on the Phaeton is a deliberate effort to make a connection with buyers looking to emulate riding in more expensive, upper segment cars.
Although Volkswagen have intended to move the seventh generation Passat up a notch they have very much kept the value proposition the car is famous for offering. The new Passat will come with Lane Assist, which is a system that prevents the car from moving out of its lane when the driver is fatigued. It also has adjustable suspension, adaptive headlights and a new feature called Easy Open, which is something of a novelty actually. If you have your hands full of luggage or baggage and you walk towards the rear of the car, a sensor placed in the rear bumper connects with your smart key and automatically opens the boot.
There is also Park Assist offered in the new Passat, which enables the car to automatically park itself. The new Volkswagen Passat also has a Dynamic Light Assist System which uses a camera to sense the light from approaching traffic and automatically adjusts the bi-xenon headlamps. There is a more simple Light Assist option available on lower trims, which also uses a camera but only changes from high beams to low beam when facing oncoming traffic.
The fatigue detection system is calibrated in such a way to notice when the driver if tired and sounds a buzzer in the cabin to alert the driver, and the instrumentation panel also flashes a visual graphic suggesting that the driver take a break. The VW Passat will also feature a collision avoidance system that detects any object traveling at a speeds below 30 km/hr and automatically makes the car brake. Then there is also the tyre pressure monitoring system, which can detect the tyre pressure of each individual type and relays the information back to the driver alerting him if there is any problem.
Volkswagen fits the new Passat with the AG range of engines which are the TSI petrol and TDI diesel versions. For us in India, Volkswagen is likely to introduce the Volkswagen Passat Petrol with the 1.8 litre TSI Petrol engine that delivers 160 horsepower and the other one is Volkswagen Passat Diesel with 2.0 litre TDI Diesel engine that delivers 140 horsepower. Both these engines are either mated to the six-speed manual gearbox or the DSG transmission. The car also comes with stop-start technology as well as battery regeneration technology as standard.
Volkswagen hopes to release the new Passat in multiple trim levels and should offers the Trendline, Comfortline and Highline levels, although it is yet to be decided is India will see all three trims or just a single specification vehicle. The New Passat should be on sale internationally by the first month of 2011 and should hit Indian shores by April 2011. Since Volkswagen does not manufacture any of the parts for the Passat in India, localization is absent and the fully imported Passat should be available for a price between Rs 25 lakhs to 30 lakhs.
2011 Volkswagen Passat Specifications
Vehicle Category: Sedan
Engines (petrol): 1.8 L, 4 cylinder, TSI, 118 kW / 160 PS
Engines (petrol): 1.4 L, 4 cylinder, TSI, 90 kW / 122 PS
Engines (diesel): 2.0 L, 4 cylinder, TDI, 103 kW / 140 PS
Engines (diesel): 1.6 L, 4 cylinder, TDI, 77 kW / 105 PS
Drivetrain: Front engine, 5 passenger, 5-door
Transmissions (standard): 6-speed manual / six –speed DSG automatic / seven-speed DSG automatic
0-60 mph: 5.5 sec
EPA city/hwy mpg: 10.5/14.5 kmpl
Base Price: Rs. 25 – 30 lakhs (est)