Monday, January 14, 2008

Passat CC: the day after

So it's been a day after the Pasast CC made its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Volkswagen has released new videos (which are after the jump) of the car in various states of motion.

Overall, the CC's exterior profile contains desgin cues from the Passat sedan all translated into coupé form. Remember that disproportionate car in those spy photos from a few months ago? Obviously Volkswagen has improved the design of the prototype since they were taken. Lines are smooth and flowing. What makes the design work is that character line that spans the side of the car. Without it, the CC would look long and bloated. The front is a totally different take on the Passat front. It seems Volkswagen is also changing its recipe with its infamous grille, now opting instead for a body-coloured piece as opposed to chrome-plated ones, as first seen in the Tiguan.The rear is rather striking, yet simple. Dominated by large taillights and many curving lines, especially from the prominent spoiler on the trunk lid. The overall design is very elegant. Some may take some time getting used to it, though.

Inside, it's more conventional Passat with just a few minor tweaks. Actually, it's the technology under the skin that is bigger news. DDC (Dynamic Drive Control) modifies the suspension, steering, and chassis based on a user-selected setting of Normal, Sport, and Comfort. ACC Automatic Distance Control automatically brakes and accelerates the car based on predefined parameters. Park Assist, previously seen on the Touran, automatically parks the car at a push of a button. Volkswagen also developed a lane-keeping technology that detects road markings and, in the event a driver meanders outside its lane, the system gently steers the car back the opposite direction to bring it back into the lane.

We still don't know how successful the Passat CC will be. The other car of its kind, The Mercedes Benz CLS has not done as well as Mercedes Benz would have hoped. Perhaps it's the whole concept of a 4-door coupé that has deterred buyers, maybe it's the price. Volkswagen is hopping it's the latter as the Passat CC will undercut the CLS but a few grand.

Expect the CC to hit Europe in the Spring, North American and Japanese streets in the Winter. In the meantime, videos are after the jump.


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