Pas­sat plat­form ticket

Herald Sun - Motoring - - NEWS - Paul Gover

IT’S more than a year un­til sales be­gin but Volk­swa­gen still wants us to get ex­cited about the eighth-gen­er­a­tion Pas­sat.

It has just re­leased the first of­fi­cial pic­tures of the new sedan and wagon with the prom­ise of a more fam­i­lyfriendly hauler. The weight sav­ing is up to 85kg and econ­omy is to im­prove by up to 20 per cent. There is also the prospect of a plug-in hy­brid and new 500Nm twin-turbo diesel.

Over­all, the car is slightly smaller but, thanks to an ex­tra 80mm in the wheel­base, pas­sen­ger space prom­ises to be sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter than to­day.

The car won’t go pub­lic un­til the Paris mo­tor show in Oc­to­ber so pric­ing, en­gines or equip­ment — in­clud­ing a vi­tal rear-view cam­era — for Aus­tralia are moot points.

But early de­tails point to a mas­sive im­prove­ment over the cur­rent Pas­sat. Its me­chan­i­cal foun­da­tion is the MQB plat­form that’s un­der the award-win­ning Golf. The plat­form even­tu­ally will un­der­pin more than two dozen VW Group mod­els.

“It’s a very early pre­view,” says VW Group Aus­tralia spokesman Karl Gehling. “One of the ad­van­tages of the MQB is pack­ag­ing ef­fi­ciency. It will cre­ate a more spa­cious in­te­rior. The plat­form was de­vel­oped to ac­com­mo­date ev­ery­thing from the Polo to a mid-sized SUV.”

That’s a clear hint of a new VW model be­tween the Tiguan and Touareg. Gehling says only that an all-new Tiguan will be the next MQB model but not be­fore 2016. Audi al­ready has its A3 on that plat­form and Skoda has done the Oc­tavia.

So, for now, the fo­cus is on a car that runs fifth in VW sales down un­der af­ter the Golf, Tiguan, Amarok and Polo, with great po­ten­tial for sales growth.

Sur­pris­ingly, the Pas­sat wagon sells bet­ter in Aus­tralia. “Our diesel is the most pop­u­lar en­gine and the wagon has al­ways been very strong here,” Gehling says.

The body de­sign is lower and wider, with the wind­screen set fur­ther back be­hind a lower bon­net. The dash­board is cleaner and more up-mar­ket, there are LED rear lamps and a huge range of new safety and in­fo­tain­ment kit, still to be con­firmed for Aus­tralia.

The line-up runs from Emer­gency As­sist, which can po­ten­tially halt a ve­hi­cle when the driver is in­ca­pac­i­tated, to an op­tional Ac­tive Info Dis­play, re­plac­ing the in­stru­ment clus­ter with an in­ter­ac­tive 12.3-inch TFT dis­play.

Gen eight: Pas­sat sedan and wagon will ar­rive in Aus­tralia in late 2015

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.