VW unveils new Passat amid crisis

22 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2016 Volkswagen Passat: 7 Things you Need to Know.

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.Volkswagen’s latest design fascination seems to be with horizontal lines—witness the Euro Passat and the newly chiseled 2017 Tiguan that debuted in Frankfurt last week—and the new look has now found its way to the mid-size, American-market Passat. 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. For 2016, VW gave the mid-size four-door a subtle yet significant aesthetic upgrade, as well as a bunch of new features aimed at keeping the family sedan competitive among an ever-improving field.

Introduced at an appropriately trendy event in downtown Brooklyn, New York, the revamped Passat’s doors, roof, and rail stampings are the only pieces shared with the outgoing model. Volkswagen’s second-generation modular infotainment platform, known as MIB II, has been fitted to the car, which brings along a standard touchscreen for every version of the car. 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. On most of the MIB-equipped cars, a capacitative touchscreen that allows you to swipe and pinch-to-zoom has been installed along with a proximity sensor that switches the display to make it ready to use when a hand approaches. The Passat now offers optional LED headlights and taillights—a first among VW sedans—and optional R-Line trim brings unique rocker panels, a black-accented front bumper, a rear-diffuser-esque piece (a must-have on front-wheel-drive family four-doors), and special 19-inch wheels wearing 235/40 rubber.

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. 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. The dashboard now features the company’s MIB II system (the acronym stands for the German equivalent of “modular infotainment platform,” and not, say, a Will Smith sequel from 2002), with two different sizes of touchscreens available depending on option package.

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. VW says “most models” will use capacitive touchscreens, the same as what’s found in smartphones and tablets, which respond to taps rather than pressure and enable swipe-and-pinch control. If a collision is detected by the airbag sensors, the car will automatically apply the brakes to bring the car to a halt, helping to reduce the chance of subsequent impacts. The system is set to offer Volkswagen’s Car-Net connectivity system, with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink compatibility, which allow you to seamlessly connect nearly any smartphone.

Automatic Post-Collision Braking, which prevents the car from pinballing away and crashing into other objects after an initial impact, is standard on all models, as is a standard rearview camera. Given that VW halted sales of 2.0-liter TDI-equipped vehicles in the wake of the ongoing drama surrounding the EPA-cheating emissions-control systems the automaker admitted to installing on nearly half a million U.S.

Power numbers for the 2016 model Passat were not announced, though they are not likely to change from the previous model, which means the 1.8-liter puts out 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, the 2.0-liter diesel makes 150 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, and finally the V6 makes 280 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.

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