Volkswagen Passat New Midsize Sedan (NMS) for North America

On the Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen has officially announced the New Midsize Sedan (NMS) will be called the Volkswagen Passat in North America. The car's technology and styling came from Germany, while
Volkswagen of America provided the conceptual direction. The German model received few changes compared to the European version. Despite sharing the same name with the European model , the two cars have virtually nothing in common. The saloon will be built in the new US plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Every external panel is new, with a look drawing on the styling of the seventh generation Volkswagen Passat yet featuring subtle changes to the window line, rear lights, bootlid and bumper as well as restyled doors and front wings. At 2,803 mm, the VW Passat's wheelbase has been extended by 91 mm, while overall length grows to 4,868 mm (a gain of 99 mm) and the width is increased by 13 mm to total 1,833 mm when compared to the European version.

Passat's size has increased in all three dimensions compared to the previous model, which already offered a spacious interior, more impressive interior space. the spacious cabin features a Touareg-inspired instrument cluster, premium chrome accents and best-in-class legroom. Three trim levels will be available, but all models come nicely-equipped with automatic climate control, power windows, cruise control, an outside temperature display (with frost warning), and Bluetooth connectivity. Options include power seats, leather upholstery, GPS navigation, wood trim, ambient lighting, and keyless access with push button starting.

Under the hood, three engines will be available. The entry-level 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine produces 170 hp (127 kW / 172 PS) and 177 lb-ft (240 Nm) of torque. It is mated to a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic.

Moving up to the 3.6-liter V6 rewards owners with 280 hp (209 kW / 284 PS) and 258 lb-ft (349 Nm) of torque. It is backed up by a standard six-speed DSG transmission, which enables the car to get an estimated 28 mpg highway. A 2.0-liter TDI is also available. It churns out 140 hp (104 kW / 142 PS) and 236 lb-ft (320 Nm) of torque. This enables the car to return an estimated 43 mpg highway and have a range of approximately 800 miles (1,287 km).

The 2012 Volkswagen Passat will be built in Chattanooga, Tennessee and is scheduled to go on sale later this year with an estimated base price of $20,000.

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