Tuesday, July 26, 2005

New Passat Estate Identifies Accident Risks With Automatic Distance Control

Text from Volkswagen AG.
WOLFSBURG, Germany - Volkswagen dealers in Germany will be presenting the new Passat Estate in a few weeks’ time, on 19 August.

Advance sales have been underway since June and there has been an excellent customer response. No wonder: the progressive, sixth generation of the bestseller offers a wide range of new technology.

The Passat Variant will be one of the few automobiles in the world to offer automatic distance control. The new system uses a radar (at an angle of twelve degrees) to monitor the traffic situation for up to 200 metres ahead of the vehicle, thereby ensuring not only an automatically defined safety gap, but also that the stopping distance is shortened.

Once the system, which operates at speeds of up to 210 km/h, identifies the risk of a collision, it initiates two measures within fractions of a second, i.e. before the driver himself can react. First, the brake is readied for operation, with the brake pads set against the brake discs, to ensure that pedal manipulation is a lot quicker in the event of an all-out braking manoeuvre. Second, the actuation threshold for the hydraulic braking assistant is reduced (adaptive braking assistant). This ensures that maximum braking is more quickly enabled when necessary.

Together with the ABS and ESP, the automatic cruise control with stopping distance control, available exclusively in combination with an automatic gearbox, is the third revolutionary driver assistance system in the Passat and Passat Estate to prevent serious accidents.

Active safety has been perfected with ESP with trailer stabilisation, fitted in all Passats and Passat Estate with a tow bar. Aside from the familiar functions which ESP offers, the system also helps to ensure early identification of the swaying motion to which towed vehicles are susceptible and to reduce such swaying by way of targeted automatic braking and engine manipulation.

Both the saloon and estate version will be available with the option of an altogether newly developed generation of integrated child seats. One advantage of these is that the side supports can be set in an upright position, thus offering added support. So-called booster pillows have also been integrated into the headrest mountings, therefore offering additional side support. The boosters therefore improve both comfort and safety.

Fully automatic self-levelling system for the rear suspension optimises comfort and safety in the Passat Estate. The system was designed specifically for both body versions in this vehicle series and is available as an optional extra (not in vehicles with sports suspension). The individual components of this self-pumping, hydro-pneumatic self-levelling system were designed as integral parts of the shock absorbers, so that no additional space was needed to accommodate them. The self-levelling system is particularly suitable for the new Passat Estate, as the vehicle can transport a load of 638 kilos.

For the first time ever, Volkswagen offers an electrically opening and locking tailgate. Its ultra-flat power unit is mounted into the roof area of the Passat Estate. The angle of the opening, and therefore the height of the tailgate opening, is infinitely variable.

In its basic design, the new bicycle carrier system is similar to those carriers mounted on the tow bar. However, the carrier no longer requires the effort of fixing it to the tow bar, since it is simply mounted onto two pins attached to the specially equipped bumper element. This solution is simple, quick and safe. The bicycle carrier system will also be available for the Passat saloon.

The Passat Variant features a new, specially designed luggage management package for the luggage compartment floor. The system comprises two rails positioned on the left and the right side of the luggage compartment floor. Straps, a telescopic rail and four lashing eyelets can be fixed into place individually using these rails.

The electronic parking brake, fitted as standard in the series, responds at the push of a button. Its electronic control system is linked to other systems via a network. This means it can perform a series of new functions, including a dynamic emergency braking function and auto release (for hill starts). An auto-hold function (stopping at traffic lights without the need to keep the foot on the brake) is fitted as standard in models with an automatic gearbox and with towing attachment and is available as an option for all other models.

In addition to these new systems, the following innovative technology also featured in the saloon is available for order in the Passat Variant: Kessy locking and starting system (Keyless-Entry-Start-and-Exit-System), premium mobile telephone preparation with Bluetooth interface, DVD navigation system, VW sound system (250 Watt), Dynaudio sound system (600 Watt), 230 Volt Euro plug socket, bi-xenon headlights with cornering light, tyre pressure monitoring system (TPM), tyres with emergency running mode, solar sun roof and climate control (Climatronic) with an indirect ventilation function.

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