Although the 2011 Detroit Auto Show didn’t actually open its doors yet, Volkswagen unveiled today the 2012 Passat, the so-called NMS (New Midsize Sedan), which promises to be a best-seller on the North American market. As expected, the car will be built at the new US plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee and its debut on the market will be made in mid-August.
Comparing it with the previous model, the new Passat offers considerably more space and comfort, but the most important fact is that the German manufacturer was able to reduce its price by several thousands dollars.
According to Volkswagen, the new car will have a base price in the 20,000 US dollar range (final prices to be announced in March). Vw says that the new car will have no rivals as it offers plenty of space (exactly 191.7 inches or 4,868 mm long), but also high technology and quality at a comparable price.
The 2012 Vw Passat will be available in three equipment lines: S, SE and SEL. The base version (S) is very well equipped and features systems such as tyre pressure monitoring system, ESP electronic stabilisation programme, ABS with braking assistant, Hill Climb Assist (with manual transmission and DSG) and six airbags.
Moreover, we get electric windows all round, air conditioning, insulating glass, a distinctive analogue clock in the centre of the instrument panel, cruise control, outside temperature display with frost warning, radio-CD system (MP3-capable, plus external audio input) and a Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone system (with voice activation).
Furthermore, the new 2012 Passat comes with two new interesting features, such as “Valet Parking” (a press of the Valet Parking button in the glove compartment is all it takes to secure the boot and the compartment itself) but also the “Remote Start”, which can help you in those extreme weather conditions to start your car’s engine (automatic or DSG transmission) by remote control (maximum ten minutes running time).
The 2012 Passat has a length of 191.7 inches (4,868 mm). Its wheelbase is 110.4 inches (2,803 mm) and its width is 72.2 inches (1,835 mm). Under the hood, we find a powerful 125 kW / 170 PS five-cylinder petrol engine (extra urban driving range with automatic transmission: 31 mpg), but Volkswagen also offers a Clean Diesel (TDI) with 102 kW / 140 PS (43 mpg extra urban) and a six-cylinder petrol engine, the so-called VR6 capable to deliver 206 kW / 280 PS, which is paired with a standard dual clutch transmission (DSG). The model equipped with the VR6 engine delivers a fuel consumption of 28 mpg extra urban and is able to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds.