​Volkswagen debuts 2016 US-market Passat, remains committed to diesel option

22 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2016 Volkswagen Passat: This Is It.

At a Brooklyn event featuring singer Lenny Kravitz, the German automaker introduced the new midsize car built in Chattanooga, Tenn., despite a mounting crisis over rigged emissions tests on diesel vehicles.WASHINGTON — Volkswagen revealed several updates for the Passat midsize sedan’s 2016 model year changeover, including fresh front and rear styling, a sporty new trim line and the brand’s new infotainment and connectivity system. The remade American-made Passat comes as consumers have been shifting away from cars toward more crossovers and SUVs, and as VW continues to struggle in the U.S. market.

The 2016 Passat will arrive in U.S. showrooms within the next few months to provide a much needed boost for the VW brand’s tepid U.S. sales, which have dropped 2.8 percent this year through August. Its introduction to U.S. media at an event in New York City Monday comes just days after U.S. environmental regulators accused VW of violating the Clean Air Act by selling 482,000 diesel-powered vehicles with illegal software designed to fool U.S. emissions tests. The big news is with the introduction of the R-Line Passat, which comes with larger 19-inch wheels, black accents on the bumper, a modified rear-diffuser and unique rocker panels. It will also have a diesel version, but VW is barred by the Environmental Protection Agency from selling it until it demonstrates compliance with pollution emission standards. The engine offerings for the car remain the same, with a 1.8 liter turbo four-cylinder, a 3.6 liter V6, and they are still offering a 2.0 liter TDI diesel option, though you probably won’t be able to buy it for awhile (see: Dieselgate).

In a statement, VW design chief Klaus Bischoff said the changes reflect a “progressive design strategy” to give the car a “dynamic presence and more sophisticated look” than its predecessor, which has been criticized for its bland styling. Depending on trim level, Passat models come equipped with the following advanced driver assistance systems: adaptive cruise control; forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking; blind spot monitor with rear traffic alert; lane departure warning, which actively steers the car back into its lane; and parking assist. The system also underpins VW’s new Car-Net infotainment system, which offers smart phone integration through Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. VW said it would release full pricing and specification closer to the Passat’s launch later this year but said that pricing would start at $22,440 before shipping for the entry-level Passat 1.8T S, the same as the previous base model when equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission.

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