World premiere: the new VW Passat takes on Mercedes


The new VW Passat is against Mercedes

World premiere: the new VW Passat takes on Mercedes-mercedes

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At first glance you can see that the new Passat looks more dynamic than its predecessor, because it has become wider, flatter, and the …

Source: Volkswagen

World premiere: the new VW Passat takes on Mercedes-world Axes moved a good bit further apart. This also made it possible to enlarge the interior space without affecting the length (4.77 meters) of the car. ">

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… Axes moved a good bit further apart. This also made it possible to enlarge the interior space without affecting the length (4.77 meters) of the car.

Source: Volkswagen

World premiere: the new VW Passat takes on Mercedes-Axes moved good further apart

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In addition to the new proportions, which also characterize the estate model Variant, which is of the same length, the face of the Passat has also changed. The grille now looks flatter and wider three-dimensionally designed slats are optically continued into the headlight housing.

Source: Volkswagen

World premiere: the new VW Passat takes on Mercedes-world

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The already impressive load space of the Passat Variant (605 to 1730 liters) grew to a level of 650 to 1780 liters, and in the …

Source: Volkswagen

World premiere: the new VW Passat takes on Mercedes-mercedes

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… The sedan’s luggage compartment now has 586 instead of the previous 565 liters of storage space.

Source: Volkswagen

World premiere: the new VW Passat takes on Mercedes-premiere

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The taillights of the new Passat feature LED technology as standard.

Source: Volkswagen

World premiere: the new VW Passat takes on Mercedes-premiere

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In Germany around 90 percent of all Passats are sold as station wagons, but the sedan is the most popular model worldwide, especially in China. There the Passat runs under the Name Magotan.

Source: Volkswagen

World premiere: the new VW Passat takes on Mercedes-premiere

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Due to the larger wheelbase, the interior of the Passat has been made even more generous, the passengers in the rear seats now have a good three centimeters more knee room. and Although the roof has become lower, VW has slightly increased the headroom at the rear.

Source: Volkswagen

World premiere: the new VW Passat takes on Mercedes-premiere

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A technical highlight in the Passat cockpit is the Active Info Display, which is available at an additional cost. Except for a few indicator lights, everything is digital here, including the speedometer and Tachometer. The driver can also change their position and size, for example to create more space for the navigation display, as shown here. Design peculiarity in the VW: The four ventilation nozzles are optically combined in a single wide band, only interrupted by the instrument cluster.

Source: Volkswagen

The mid-range VW has always been successful, but in its eighth generation, the Passat wants to be perceived as a premium car. He has what it takes, but the new claim also harbors dangers.

M.An does not have to worry about the models from the VW brand, they practically always sell. However, the boardroom in Wolfsburg disgusts this idea. Martin Winterkorn and his colleagues do not want anyone to rest on the good sales figures.

“How do you make an almost perfect car even better?” This was the question posed by the VW boss at the world premiere of the new Passat One should not only regard it as propaganda, but rather as a leitmotif for the development of the middle-class model.

For the eighth generation of the Passat (after the Jetta and before the Golf, the world‘s second best-selling VW), which was unveiled on the evening of July 3rd in VW’s design studio in Potsdam, an unprecedented amount of effort has been made. And you can even see it at first glance. On the new platform, called modular transverse construction kit (MQB) at VW, the designers worked out one particular topic: status.

"We want to touch the customer’s heart"

“A car with a premium claim, but without premium costs,” says Winterkorn. “An eye-catcher, but without the envy factor.” The Passat, which will be launched on the market in November, moves its axles a good bit further apart (plus eight centimeters), but maintains the length (4.77 meters). The width of the body increased (1.82 meters without mirrors), the height decreased slightly (1.46 meters). So the VW Passat is fuller, more self-confident, somehow more contemporary on the road – and those interested in the top sedan Phaeton may wonder even more whether they have considered the right car.

"VW is always very functional on the road," says Head of Design Klaus Bischoff, but with the new Passat you are now "moving a little away from the Bauhaus aesthetics". Although the car is still straight and straightforward as is typical of VW, overall it appears, according to Bischoff, “a little more sculptural”. The head of design: "We want to touch our customers’ hearts too."

The goal was to "generate a leap in class", so one "intervened deeply in the proportions". And then Klaus Bischoff says the word that is mainly heard from soccer players at the moment: "great". In view of the new Passat design, the customer should say: "Great, I want that."

But also viewed soberly and from the perspective of the uninvolved observer, the new proportions as well as the lower and wider face bring the VW closer to the three premium models of the middle class: Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class.

1.1 million Passat buyers worldwide

The Passat has always been able to stand up to them. In Germany, the VW 2013 was at the top of its class with 72,048 new registrations, and worldwide – in conjunction with the US model and above all the Chinese version Magotan – it confirmed this position: 1.1 million buyers.

However, the lower price compared to the premium sedans was also responsible for the success – and the particularly strong position of the estate variant in Europe. 95 percent of Passat company cars in Germany are station wagons. Now, however, design and appearance should score as well as significant progress in terms of technology.

On the one hand, the space available in the Passat has been further increased, this applies to both the knee room on the back seat (plus three centimeters) and the headroom (plus two centimeters) and the volume of the trunk, which in the sedan rose from 565 to 586 liters grew, in the station wagon from 603 to 650 liters – both a result of the switch to the MQB platform.

On the other hand, VW is raising the level in the interior. A fully digital display replaces the instruments – for a surcharge. If necessary, the driver can reduce the speedometer and rev counter and move them to the edge in order to create more space for the navigation map, for example. Who has already heard of it: Audi has announced it for the new TT and will also offer it in other model series.

The first VW with a head-up display

“That is the advantage of our modular system,” says Development Director Heinz-Jakob Neuber, who looks unusually satisfied that evening. Perhaps because the Passat is the first completely new car to come onto the market during his tenure (development work began in 2010 under Neusser’s predecessor Ulrich Hackenberg).

But maybe also because he internalized the MQB philosophy so much, devised and implemented by Hackenberg for the entire group. Neuss uses the image of the shelf, on which there are many parts, but in which there are also gaps. These gaps would be filled with innovations from each new series. “And then other models can use them, which in turn store new parts there.” Anyone who only sees Neuss and doesn’t hear it now believes that they are looking at a pantomime who – puts something on a shelf and takes something else out again.

Later on, the board of directors spoke again in a relaxed manner of "economies of scale", that is, of favorable purchasing conditions if the same parts were bought in much larger quantities. This explains why there is an impressive arsenal of assistance systems available for the Passat: they will soon also be found in other Group models.

For the time being, the Passat is the first VW with a head-up display, and with the security systems available – also for a surcharge – VW no longer has to hide behind Mercedes & Co. In addition to the parking assistant, there is also an auxiliary system for maneuvering out of a parking space (which monitors whether other cars are approaching in the blind spot). The Passat can be ordered with a traffic jam assistant, which is how you can experience small-scale autonomous driving in this car: with stop-and-go, the Passat automatically steers, brakes and accelerates.

The prices are only rising slightly

The Passat is the only car that can park independently with a trailer on the hook, and the emergency braking functions have been refined so that the car can now also react to pedestrians who suddenly jump out between two parked cars. To do this, he uses a radar sensor in the radiator grille. "He has a completely different perspective than the driver," explains Neusser, "he can at least partially see through under the other cars and thus perceive a pair of legs earlier."

Behind so much high-tech, one almost forgets the classic virtues of a car: the 150 hp diesel engine of the Passat has been redesigned so that, according to the standard, it no longer consumes 4.6, but only 4.1 liters per 100 kilometers. And later VW will bring a top TDI, which also has a two-liter displacement, but develops 240 horsepower from it.

In the Passat, this engine consumes 5.3 l / 100 km and is currently the best in the world in terms of performance and consumption. Something like that brings a certain prestige today.

"New. Business Class. ”Is the name of the Passat‘s slogan. But when it comes to prices, VW remains very down-to-earth. At 25,875 euros for the 122 PS strong base model (1.4-liter petrol engine), the Passat has become 550 euros more expensive than its predecessor. But as is common today, improved equipment makes up for it. VW says the bottom line is that the new Passat is even cheaper than the old one.

Doubts about the VW strategy

Automatic start-stop, starting the engine with a button, LED taillights, Tire pressure control, radio with touchscreen and multi-collision brake (stops the car after an accident if the driver can no longer do it) – these are the standard equipment that the new Passat basic model has ahead of its predecessor.

And even if the materials used in the interior do not reach the level of the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class, the new Passat is clearly moving closer to the premium competition: the design, sense of space inside, quality impression and technical standard leave no other Close to. When it comes to prices, however, VW does not dare to take the step towards premium.

Ferdinand Dudenhoffer, head of the CAR Institute at the University of Duisburg-Essen, expressed doubts about this strategy. For the expert, the higher positioning of the Passat is no surprise, but he considers this measure to be a mistake and calls the car a "Volkswagen that doesn’t want to be".

Dudenhoffer’s criticism is based on the fact that although higher profits could be reaped in the premium segment of the middle class, VW could not raise the Passat price to Mercedes level despite all efforts for more technology, equipment, quality and design.

You can’t lose your regular customers

If you talk to those responsible for VW on this Passat evening in Potsdam, it is said everywhere that you don’t just want to point out an interesting alternative to the drivers of Audi, BMW and Mercedes. You also have to make sure that you take your regular customers with you. And shouldn’t differ too much from the cheaper group brand Skoda in terms of prices remove.

And the Dudenhoffer criticism, according to which VW completely unnecessarily attacked the sister model A4 with the Passat, is countered with reference to the well-established internal competition. Each new model has the task of exerting pressure on comparable models from the other brands – this sometimes brings a bit of imbalance into the balanced structure, but overall this approach brings the group forward.

The profit that VW, according to Dudenhoffer, cannot get through the Passat price, has to be achieved through cost reductions. According to the basic idea of ​​the modular transverse matrix, every car developed on this platform brings cash. The cost savings of the new design and production platform are estimated at around 20 percent. VW wants to regularly invest half of this in added value for the customer – and reap the other half as additional profit.

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