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VW unveils new Passat

Date: 30 September 2010

Volkswagen has unveiled the seventh generation of its Passat at the Paris motor show.

The brand's upper-medium mainstay has amassed 15 million sales across 100 countries since its introduction 37 years ago.

The carmaker said Klaus Bischoff, head of design VW, and Walter de Silva, head of design VW Group, had established a new design direction for the latest incarnations of the Passat saloon and estate.

A new grille with prominent horizontal chrome fins dominates the front of the car, LED running lights are set into heavily contoured headlight units, and at the rear, chrome highlights extend down the side.

VW said every body panel bar the roof is new.

At 4769mm the new saloon is 4mm longer than its predecessor, but at 1820mm wide and 1474mm tall it retains the same proportions.

Inside, new seats can be set to either heat and cool occupants, while those belonging to the driver and front passenger feature a massage function. A revised dashboard features chrome inserts and there is the option of ambience lighting similar to that fitted in the Phaeton.

The petrol engine line-up comprises a 1.4-litre 122hp TSI unit, a 1.8 160hp TSI, a 2.0-litre 210hp TSI and the range-topping 3.6-litre V6 producing 300hp.

Diesel powertrains start with the 1.6-litre TDI unit producing 105hp. VW claimed a Passat equipped with this engine and the fuel-saving BlueMotion package could achieve a combined 68.8mpg with emissions of 109g/km CO2.

The diesel line-up continues with a 2.0-litre TDI unit available in 140hp and 170hp guises. Each engine is offered with manual or DSG transmission.

Safety features previously available on the Phaeton and Touareg have filtered down to the new Passat. The optional city emergency braking system, part of the Automatic Distance Control package, automatically engages the brakes at speeds below 18mph if the vehicle senses an unavoidable collision. The system can also accelerate automatically to avoid a rear-end collision if the vehicle senses a clear space ahead.

Other options include an automatic fatigue detector, the XDS electronic transverse differential, which is standard on the Golf GTI, and a new foot-activated boot opening system on saloons fitted with keyless entry.

Pricing and specification for the UK will be announced in October followed by first customer deliveries in January 2011.