GERMAN BUSI­NESS MIEN

Both the A4 and Pas­sat are well­dressed, mid-level ex­ec­u­tives work­ing in the same con­glom­er­ate and serv­ing sim­i­lar cus­tomers, but the two Ger­mans do the job dif­fer­ently.

Torque (Singapore) - - GROUP TEST -

WWOULD you be­lieve this is a Torque road test com­par­ing two saloon cars? Yes, two sa­loons, and not SUVs, which are rapidly tak­ing over the mar­ket, thereby dis­plac­ing the sleek and hon­est pas­sen­ger “car”.

These two representatives from the en­dan­gered notch­back species come from the same fam­ily in Ger­many, but each has a cer­tain unique­ness that sets it apart from the other. Both the Audi A4 and Volk­swa­gen Pas­sat are 2-litre/ four-door/five-pax sa­loons and they share a high de­gree of technical com­mon­al­ity. But, just like sib­lings in a fam­ily, the two mem­bers of the VW Group house­hold are quite dif­fer­ent. The A4 has been a con­sis­tent com­peti­tor in the pre­mium ex­ec­u­tive seg­ment along­side the BMW 3 Se­ries and Mercedes C-Class, while the Pas­sat has been creep­ing up from a more mun­dane back­ground to chal­lenge the es­tab­lished play­ers.

Audi’s A4 is the dar­ling of the brand, be­ing a long-stand­ing top-seller in the com­pany’s saloon lineup. A lit­tle-known fact is that the A4 be­gan life as the Audi 80, a de­riv­a­tive of the me­chan­i­cally iden­ti­cal Volk­swa­gen Pas­sat be­long­ing to the same era.

Gi­u­giaro’s Italde­sign restyled the four-door fast­back Pas­sat to cre­ate a three-box saloon which, back in 1972, was ar­guably the pret­ti­est around, whether with two doors or four. While the 80 be­came the A4, the Pas­sat con­tin­ued with its name un­changed.

Af­ter years of build­ing rearengine ve­hi­cles, Volk­swa­gen en­tered the main­stream fron­twheel-drive mar­ket in 1972 OC­TO­BER 2018

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