An eagerly awaited mid-sized sedan, Volkswagen had stoked interests in a new vehicle for more than a year. To be presented this week at the 2011 North American International Auto Show, the German-derived brand officially presents the 2012 Volkswagen Passat as a late announcement to the Detroit automotive exhibit.
Appearing strikingly like an enlarged Jetta at first glance, this 2012 Volkswagen mid-sized sedan abandons all the Audi-sourced design cues that the 2010 Passat wore. The 2012 Volkswagen Passat front end styling integrates the straight, horizontally-slotted grille connecting the clear lens headlamps. The simple sheetmetal detail leads lengthwise along the 191.7 inch body shell. Differing from the compact Jetta sedan, the new Passat will be quickly identified in design by the faux rear vent window detached from the door. Available in S, SE and SEL trim models, the 2012 Passat rather harmonious exterior can catered to more premium tastes. Featured within a 110.4 inch wheelbase, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat can ride on 17 or 18 inch alloy wheels.
Working with a wider wheelbase than the previous Passat, the new mid-sized sedan from Volkswagen makes full use of the extra space potential. Much of this increased length is lent to the rear passenger area providing spacious best in class legroom. Accommodations for 5 passengers, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat cabin is said to take inspiration from the newly-released Touareg in instrument design completed with an analog clock on the center dash panel. Depending on model trim, the usage of a choice of printed or wood inlays along with multiple tone panel colouring is found inside of the new Passat.
2012 Volkswagen Passat power will come from three sources with two gasoline and a turbodiesel engine. The economy version of the gasoline engine is the 2.5 liter inline four-cylinder producing 140 horsepower which can be ordered with a 6-speed automatic or, for the first time, a 5-speed manual gearbox. For peak performance, the 2012 Passat features the 280 horsepower, VR6 powerplant identical to that offered on the CC four-door coupe. For a fuel economy potential of 43 miles per gallon highway, the 2-liter TDI Clean Diesel engine also provides up to 236 pounds feet of torque. With the VR6 and TDI Clean Diesel powerplants, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat offers a dual-clutch 6-speed DSG transmission.
The most noteworthy addition to the new Passat is not related to the engineering or design but rather to the actual product. After 23 years, the North American lineup for the Volkswagen will once again feature a product built on the United States through the 2012 Passat’s assembly in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Between 1978 to 1988, Volkswagen manufactured the Jetta and the Golf (then called the Rabbit) at a complex in New Stanton, Pennsylvania. While Volkswagen has reached into Mexico and South America to build vehicles, the production of the 2012 Volkswagen Passat at Chattanooga Assembly Plant will start in later this year.
As opposed to the 2010 model Passat which started at a list above $28,000, Volkswagen has stride to construct this 2012 mid-sized sedan at a more bargain price around $20,000. With the 2012 Passat, Volkswagen is continuing a reintegration as a more accessible brand to American families. Despite being more value-priced, the 2012 Passat vows to offer standard Bluetooth connectivity, 6 airbags, air conditioning and electronic stability control. An optional audio system is provided through Volkswagen’s new exclusive partnership with guitar maker Fender.
Considered a pivotal car to Volkswagen’s growth in the United States, the reaction to the American-made 2012 Passat sedan at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit will provide a great opportunity to see a widely-equipped fighter in the mid-sized sedan category.