By on July 25, 2016

2016_passat_5383

Volkswagen is toying with the idea of creating a hot, performance-oriented Passat variant that grabs people’s souls, assaults their eyes and won’t let go of their imagination. It shouldn’t bother.

According to Motor Authority, the automaker wants to wring more sales out of its increasingly overlooked midsizer by appealing to the enthusiast set. Even with visual cues and a power boost, it’s extremely unlikely that Golf fanboys will move their lust (and cash) to the Passat camp.

If Volkswagen wants to halt falling sales, it needs to change the foundation and house, not just paint the window trim.

The Motor Authority report describes a concept housed in Volkswagen’s Chattanooga development center. They describe it as “a white Passat with black mirrors, a black-painted roof, a black lip spoiler on its deck lid, black badging, revised tail lamps and red accents on its fascia and brake calipers.”

Other design cues set it apart from the duller R-Line, and the body has been lowered by 20 millimeters. Engineers still haven’t figured out what engine to use. The 1.8-liter turbocharged four cylinder is an obvious choice (but not very exclusive), while the 3.6-liter V6 would add a good measure of power and price.

U.S. sales of the current-generation Passat peaked in 2012 (117,023 units), falling every year since. The 2015 tally was 78,207, and 2016 figures reveal even less demand. It doesn’t help that the once-appealing 2.0-liter diesel is now sidelined by scandal.

The Passat has some bright spots, interior space being one, but it’s losing the midsize sedan battle. In fact, the midsize sedan is losing its own battle, with buyers increasingly turning to crossovers and SUVs. A handful of midsizers are bucking the trend, with the Accord, Sonata, Legacy and Malibu picking up sales, but its a contracting marketplace.

To stand out and attract buyers, the basic package must be appealing. Specialty models are mostly PR. Ford plans to offer a power-packed, all-wheel-drive Fusion Sport next year, but it also sells a hell of a lot of base and mid-range Fusions.

All Volkswagen can offer is a bland styling that’s barely discernible from the pre-refresh model, with no all-wheel drive and a very expensive V6 option. It needs to do better in the styling department and offer competitive horsepower in sub-premium models. That means sourcing a 2.0-liter turbo from the Volkswagen Group parts bin and trying to hack out a mid-range niche.

According to the report, executives in Wolfsburg haven’t approved this “hot” Passat. They’d be better off focusing their efforts on the Passat’s long game and correcting its flaws.

[Image: Volkswagen of America]

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75 Comments on “Volkswagen Shouldn’t Bother Creating an Enthusiast’s Passat...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    They did this already for the European market, several years ago with the Passat R36.

    http://smotra.ru/data/img/users_imgs/40360/sm_users_img-119872.jpg

    I think they should consider how the sales of that went before trying another version and sending over to the US.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      The 2008 R36 design still looks too generic. It had a more powerful engine which means higher euro-taxes, so maybe looking at euro-sales isn’t the best course. They might do better tacking on traditional luxury features, the way Ford turned its stretched Taurus into the pocket battleship Continental: more chrome, an impressive grille, opera windows, a formal roofline, stuff like that.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I didn’t know an R-line existed, and was very smitten when I saw one pass me on the highway a few days ago, in a bright blue.

    Given my very positive road-trip rental experience with a 1.8 TSI SE(?) trim, an R-line would be a very nice commuter and road warrior indeed.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Ah, the odoriferous stench of desperation!

    Volkswagen’s got nothing, with the possible exception of offering the only true station wagon under $22k. Most of their cars are underwhelming and overpriced relative to the competition. Even outside of Dieselgate, their reputation for a lack of reliability is killing them.

    Putting lipstick on a pig isn’t going to help any of that.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “underwhelming and overpriced relative to the competition”

      I’m one of those people that genuinely likes the Camry (and Accord), and I was VERY impressed with the Passat TSI that I was given as a rental for a overnight trip to Kansas City (7.5 hours each way). The car even in rental spec was VERY well equipped, including adaptive cruise control, a very high end looking exterior treatment, and likewise very good interior materials. TSI motor pulled very willingly and loafed along getting me a calculated 38-39mpg at 77mph. The most glowing praise is just how un-fatigued I was after the 7.5 hour trip. Now, the Sonata SE I had rented the previous summer for a somewhat shorter drive was overall equally comfortable, but nowhere as refined or as satisfying a place to spend time, or as nice of a car to look at inside or out. The Fusion 1.6EB SE that I rented for a shorter drive was much thirstier, had much less power, and I did not care for the interior layout as much. A coworker’s ’14 Malibu is miles behind in just about every measurable way as well. Now, how one of these Passat TSIs holds up outside the warranty period is anyone’s guess, but as a new car they are anything but underwhelming for the class IMO. Price-wise, I was able to find a car with similar options (adaptive cruise, same wheels, etc) for $22kish NEW. That’s a bargain, considering it drives like a $35k+ vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        JLGOLDEN

        One thing I can vouch for is long-haul comfort in VW / Audi seats. My 2012 Jetta TDI was a great cross-country cruiser, no fatigue, though a bit sweaty in TX and FL summers on the V-Tex surfaces. The same applies to our 2016 Golf R and 2016 A3 Quattro sedan… zero fatigue, and a hard-to-quantify satisfaction in the way both cars ride, handle, and behave in just about all driving situations. Back in 2000, my achy & aging grandparents rented a new-at-the-time Jetta for 5 days, and they raved for days about how comfy the seats were, and how the car felt so satisfying to drive.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Correction, you can scoop up an SE with the moonroof and adaptive cruise package for $18k!!

        • 0 avatar
          tekdemon

          Are you talking about a Passat? Where can you get an SE for $18K without nonsensical made up fees tacked on for thousands?!

          I will say that I didn’t realize until now that the new Passat SE came with adaptive cruise control standard so that is somewhat interesting to know. Maybe I’ll take the money VW buys back my TDI and use it towards another Passat, lol.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “…it’s extremely unlikely that Golf fanboys will move their lust (and cash) to the Passat camp”

    That’s not the goal. The goal is to move Honda V6 buyers like Jack Baruth into an enthusiast Passat. Otherwise, you’re just moving customers to the other side of the showroom.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      It’s not just moving customers around. People get married, have kids, need more space.

      Obviously, VW wants conquest sales, but they also want to keep Golf customers that need a bigger car.

  • avatar
    Der_Kommissar

    The Passat needs the 2.0 turbo for models in between the S and the VR6. The SE is just too expensive considering it gets the same engine as the Jetta SEL for more money.

  • avatar

    The model already exists in other markets. Essentially a Passat with Golf R engine and running gear

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      But that would be prohibitively expensive.

      a) The global Passat is not the same as our “NMS Passat”, which is sold in the North American and Chinese markets, and

      b) The NMS Passat has never been sold with the 2.0T gas engine in any guise. Certifying it for that engine would be very pricey.

      • 0 avatar
        zerofoo

        This shows how clueless VW really is about the North American market. VW built a different Passat – bigger and cheaper for North America.

        That strategy failed, so now they think a “sport” version will bring back the buyers – but they can’t use their global Passat platform since they badly misjudged the NA market.

        VW can’t get out of the way of the arrogance that runs that company. For years people told VW that their reliability sucks, their warranties were too short, and the repair costs were too high.

        Those chickens are now home to roost. Every single person I knew in college that owned an MK4 VW has sworn them off for life.

        Good luck to ’em.

        • 0 avatar
          tekdemon

          Honestly I don’t think it’s a huge negative that it uses the cheaper/bigger platform found here and in China, it actually rides and handles pretty well so it’s not like they gave it a garbage platform. These things are all over China now too and it seems the latest refresh made them even more popular there because I just came back 2 days ago from China and the Passat has exploded in popularity there versus when I was there a year ago. VW also did a good job taming double clutch transmissions for use in the Passat-even though it doesn’t have a torque converter the DSG is pretty smooth at low speed and only makes it obvious that it’s a double clutch unit, which is a big improvement over older Passats that had DSGs.

          But there are definite issues with the car-the interior doesn’t seem to last as long as some other cars, and there’s cost cutting and dubious ergonomics that are noticeable. The cheap platform also has a gigantic center tunnel running through the car that limits it’s utility for five people. Reliability is better but it’s still not going to be comparable to a Camry or Accord.

  • avatar
    brettc

    If they really want something special to offer, they need to sell the Passat wagon (again) with Xenon/LED headlights and LED tail lights. Then throw a tuned 2.0 engine from the GTI in it. Offer it with the 6 speed manual or the DSG and make 4Motion available.

    Make it the modern Magnum since Chrysler gave up on that thing.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      …and they’d sell all of 2 of them. Wagons are a dead variant (unless you jack it up and call it a CUV/SUV).

      I’m not sure what the answer is for the Passat. My boss has a diesel and is in a lurch as to what to do with it (sell it back to VW or keep it). He absolutely loves it. But I don’t see a hopped-up version doing much in the way of sales for a platform that is quickly being passed by in a segment that is slowly withering away.

      • 0 avatar
        brettc

        It probably wouldn’t sell a whole lot, but it’s fun to dream. Sadly, reasonably priced SUVs engineered for U.S. tastes are probably what will keep the lights on at VWoA.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Isn’t this generation of Passat and Jetta about to be replaced anyway? Seems like they’ve been out forever.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      It is hard to tell from the pictures, but they just did a refresh on the Passat late last year (it came out just after Dieselgate became a thing). We have a Passat TDI and we love it, but it is a bit… boring. It doesn’t help that you can’t seem to get a manual anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        You can get a manual Passat in Canada, but only in base trim, which is pretty bare. The base Passat has steel rims, and you can’t even get heated seats.

      • 0 avatar
        tekdemon

        I just picked one up and I think it has a great ride and good handling though a lot of this handling prowess seems to stem from the tires-my TDI SEL comes with 235 width ContiProContacts which is plain insane for a midsize sedan. I actually think these are the widest OEM tires on any midsize sedan since most other manufacturers probably shied away since it makes tires way more expensive to replace.

        But yeah, it’s not a particularly exciting car despite having a double clutch transmission and admirable amounts of grip thanks to the big tires. And honestly while the torque is nice the TDI definitely runs out of wind very quickly, I think the car actually accelerates more slowly when you put it into the sport mode because it holds the gears until redline where the TDI is putting out nowhere near it’s peak torque so oddly leaving it drive seems to give the best acceleration based on my butt dyno.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Can someone tell me why all the automakers wait until late in a products lifestyle to introduce the “hot” version? Do they expect enthusiasts to shell out the big bucks for a design that is about to be replaced? I can point to the Ford Fusion Sport and Focus RS for starters.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Because Ford is trying to squeeze as much profit out of refreshed platforms as possible. It also gives the platform some ad buzz even when it isn’t new. Ford also has a habit of carrying over engines and transmissions to new products.

      Hopefully the Fusion Sport just stays around into the next all-new version. It was dumb to drop it from the lineup in the first place.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        I’m just trying to figure out how the 2.7TT is rated at 325hp/380tq, yet for a mere .3 more in displacement, The new Lincoln 3.0TT is 400hp/400tq.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge

          The 3.0TT puts out more HP than the 3.5TT in most applications as well.

          I don’t know the differences in components of the 3.0TT from the 2.TT. It could just be bigger displacement and a different tune, but it could be something like upgraded turbochargers as well.

          Edit: I looked up the turbocharger and both the 2.7TT and 3.0TT use the same part number. Sounds like a lot of it is in the tune.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          Market segmentation.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      In most cases, its to spark interest in whats usually by then a stale model. Its less about enthusiasts, who tend to only buy used cars anywho.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I dont get it, people want Mazda to work with Chrysler to build some pseudo sporty economy car, but VW cant have its share of pseudo sporty-ness?

    Seems like it’d just make Audi bitter more than anything.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    “They describe it as “a white Passat with black mirrors, a black-painted roof, a black lip spoiler on its deck lid, black badging, revised tail lamps and red accents on its fascia and brake calipers.””

    Sounds more like a Pep Boys “built not bought” special to me.

    Passat faces the same challenges as the rest of the midsize field (why buy a sedan when a crossover does the same job for 99% of the population way better?), with the added albatross of the TDI scandal. Truthfully VW should just let the Passat wither on the vine… maybe give it a much needed injection of style (Passat Sportback anyone?), and put whatever resources they had set aside for it into their CUVs.

    But yea looking to save the Passat with a performance model is like Mitsubishi saving the Lancer with tweaks to the EVO. Halo cars don’t work

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    Counter point. The current generation US Passat is getting long in the tooth and is about due for replacement. VW is aware of this I am sure. I think this is less of a serious attempt to jump start sales and more of a “warmed over reheat” of the existing product to gauge the market. Likely, the current generation “Passat R” will be out for a year or two and just to see what demand is like. If it’s not good, they can’t be out too much; the Golf R powertrain is already federalized so while development isn’t cheap it can’t be totally astronomical. If it’s well received, then a Passat R or GLI or whatever will likely be a part of the next generation line up.

    I think gtemnykh is right. This isn’t to draw buyers of the Golf R and GTI, it’s to capture buyers who will miss the Accord V6 and Camry XSE V6 as well as those who do miss the Altima SE-R.

  • avatar
    mtmmo

    I know two people in my office with Passats (’14 & ’15) with the 1.8T engine. Both had the rear engine seal fail in less than 25,000 miles. VW quality hasn’t changed one bit.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      You’re too picky. Consider all the other parts that *didn’t* fail.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      I tease my VW loving friend that the check engine light just means that VW is checking the engine for him. I’m sure the VW service writers are all millionaires with VW quality the way it is.

    • 0 avatar
      zerofoo

      I’m sure the German engineers decided that 25,000 miles is an acceptable service interval for a rear main seal.

      These are the same bozos that decided that automatic transmissions should be “sealed for life”. “Life” means slipping at 80,000 miles and replacement at 130,000 miles.

      German engineering really means complicated, convoluted, fragile and expensive to fix.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Haha I read about some early EA888s having some weeping issues on the RMS on vw forums, sad to hear that it wasn’t just a small batch issue. My dreams of a stupidly cheap and awesome Passat SE are dashed! $7500 Versa it is then :)

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    “..the automaker wants to wring more sales out of its increasingly overlooked midsizer by appealing to the enthusiast set”

    Zee? Vee do ZO haff a zense off humah!

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Doesn’t Audi make one? This seems a little “old GM”. Since it’s for the US, Passat needs to be able to steal sales from the Fusion, Camry, Accord, Sonata, Legacy and Malibu. Aiming for BMW (and Audi) is dumb here. What VW needs to offer is more lux/refinement for the $ than the others across a full selection of vehicles with peerless factory support for the “end users” and dealers service departments. If they can stick that out even when it doesn’t work for the first few years, they may survive in the US.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Halo cars make enthusiasts happy. Those enthusiasts then talk up the brand to their non-enthusiast friends, some of whom will buy normal cars.

    It’s a low-cost marketing exercise. Doing this kind of thing is so cheap and easy that there is no reason not to do it.

    This is akin to you guys freaking out about the Cadillac cafe concept when that sort of thing takes virtually no money or effort; that particular store could be paid for with perhaps one hour’s worth of profits. (It might also help to know that opening flagship stores in New York is pretty commonplace; even Kellogg’s cereal has done it.)

  • avatar
    JLGOLDEN

    I like the lines of the Passat, and have with every generation. However, the 2016 freshening, which brought new headlamps, tail lamps, fascia, and hood, was entirely too subtle. If they were retooling for new stampings and lamp units, why not make it a worthy payoff?

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    I think the positioning of the Passat is wrong. The Passat was a lot more effective and more compelling back in the B5/B6 days when it was a much nicer alternative to the bland Camry/Accord/Altima. VW will NEVER beat those cars on an even playing field, and the situation is far more difficult for them now than it was then.

    Not only are Toyota, Honda, and Nissan fiercely competitive, but you also now have a well executed Fusion, finally a competent Malibu, and Sonata/Optima which were joke cars in the days of the B6, but certainly aren’t now.

    If I were in charge of VWoNA, I would make the Jetta the sole volume sedan. Kill off the ANCIENT CC, and move the Passat into that space. Take on Maxima, TLX, and S60 with a *stylish*, practical and sporty sedan, not a compromised “bargain CLS.” Offer the 2.0T and some kind of V6 option, maybe with standard AWD which the Maxima and most variants of the TLX won’t have. Concentrate on margins over volume. Standard leather, no vinyl. Standard Apple/Android auto. There’s going to be a bit of a pricing overlap with base versions of the A4, but that’s unavoidable. If Toyota can sell the Avalon and ES350 at the same time even with the Avalon offering more for less, VW can figure it out.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Seems like the Fusion Sport would eat this thing alive.

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    Instead of an enthusiast version no one will care about, how about either actually making the car a decent value proposition (i.e. not having to pay over 30 grand just to upgrade from vinyl seats and halogen headlights) or go back to selling the European model so at least you can enjoy your snob appeal during your regular scheduled trips to your VW dealer for overpriced repairs.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Or the easiest thing: VW can just go die in a hole and nobody would miss them. In a market with competition from Japanese and Koreans, arrogant half-assedness gets you exactly what VW got now.

      • 0 avatar
        Hydromatic

        Try as you might want to believe, they’re never gonna bring SEAT or Skoda over here.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          “they’re never gonna bring SEAT or Skoda over here.”

          Right… and line-toeing public health officials are saying Zika won’t be spread by the Olympics, either.

          Actually, what the lead author of the WHO reccomendation said was:

          “postponing or relocating the Olympics is not going to meaningfully impact the international spread of Zika”

          .. which could mean something altogether less reassuring i.e., we’re hosed anyway.

  • avatar
    GTL

    building the sport model with a 2.0T and manual (note: MANUAL) shift will motivate more than a few enthusiasts.

    • 0 avatar
      Trucky McTruckface

      No, it won’t. Because VW already offers that car in a cheaper and smaller but better-proportioned and nearly-as-roomy package. It’s called the Jetta GLI and its’ been available since 2012.

      But guess what? Almost no one buys it.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      Yeah, it’ll motivate them to go on the Internet and say “I’d totally buy that.”

      And then not buy it.

  • avatar
    Nostrathomas

    You know what would make this enthusiast happy? If they had a Passat wagon again.

    Right now there’s no affordable mid-sized wagon out there. You have the smaller ones (Sportwagen, V60) and the expensive ones (E class, XC70)….but there’s nothing that’s the equivalent of a Camry or Accord. I’m in the market for a wagon and can’t really find anything that fits my need…something a little bigger, but without all the fancy crap. And it will be a cold day in hell before I buy a crossover.

  • avatar
    DownUnder2014

    Hmm…the NMS Passat that NA gets hasn’t really changed too much since it came out in 2011, has it? It’s probably starting to age a little, but it is relatively cheap for it’s class I must say.

  • avatar

    For years, car makers have stuck it to the car enthusiast by how “performance” packages are set up. Now, I’ll agree that a turbo-supercharged engine has more stuff..costs more to make.

    A bigger sway bar, or a stiffer valved shock, costs them little to nothing more. You can give them a good tire, without it being some stupid 20 inch low profile. There is NO reason why the base car should plow around off ramps…they don’t do that in Germany, even the cheap base car…. Seats ? Absent power butt massage and heat and cold blowers and fourteen way power accessories, you can make a good, decent, non power seat. VW is a notable exception in that the base seats are OK. This only points out that the base seats in most cars are a joke and that the uprated seats are the ones that should be there, sans sixteen power motors.

    What has been done to the car guy is the following…you want the 40 hp more ? That is in the SEL package. You want the stiff suspension (the one every single auto tester has had-every CTS/ATS tested ever was FE3-and this isn’t unusual. How many BMW cars went to a tester without M Sport package…zero ? I can’t find a single Corvette test that isn’t Z06 or Z-52)…that is the S package, so now you have to buy the SEL-S. Nav isn’t included, or, is required for the S package… $24,500…no, try 46,500.

    They are very good at upselling you for the 40 hp and stiff suspension-you didn’t want nav, sunroof, or the dual climate control, but you are stuck buying all this nonsense because you wanted a 3 mm larger swaybar.

    A special place in hell for the marketers that put programmable power seats in upper option packages in 40k base price cars.

    Horsepower has classically been the last thing you get, and at highest cost. The Germans have been most punitive for this “option”, but all play the game.

    We have a decontented Passat already. A stiffer suspension, a decent seat without sixteen way power massage, and a few more hp would be good. Toss in a better radio than the competition, some red piping in the interior so the know nothings would see something-rip off BMW and MB on that one.. and call it a day. There are a lot of folks who’d like a 5 series but can’t afford it…that is the target.

    Oh, and the HID lights shouldn’t be atop two other packages, like they are for GTi and TDi…oh, forget that last one.

  • avatar
    Farhad

    No need to bother; the enthusiasts would still buy the Golf over it!

  • avatar
    notwhoithink

    I admit it, I’d strongly consider such a car. And I’m one of the poor suckers with a Dieselgate Jetta who swore off VW altogether a few months back. I’ve been in the market for a midsize car since last September, and based on my pre-Dieselgate experience the Passat was at the top of my list. The more I look around though, it’s hard to beat the Passats value proposition, especially at their current fire sale prices. Over the past year I’ve looked at the Passat “Sport” (nothing sporty but cosmetic changes) and the R Line (looks great, but is even more stripped down than the Sport model) and found them both wanting. I’d be perfectly happy to go with a V6 model, but they MSRP at $36k (WTF???) and despite looking high and low, I’ve never seen a Passat V6 from the last 5 years in the wild. Because who would pay $36k for a Passat V6 when you could get s cheaper V6 from Honda/Toyota for $8k less?

    Really, all VW needs to do is to take something like the Sport trim and give it an engine with 250HP or so, and they’d have a nice little “grown up” sporty sedan. Leave the kiddie tuner mobiles to the GTI/GLI.

    • 0 avatar

      agreed…much like the real cost to make a car, which is embargoed at all levels of discourse, publishing and internet, no one wants to break the tier system…the difference between the S version and the SEL_S all bells and whistles might be $100 at the OE level ($12k to you), but no one dares break the informal agreement that x content = y prices.

      yes, toss in 100 extra HP, put in nice seats, make a stereo that won’t hurt the ears…you’d sell more cars, but break the embargo….

      I’ve always wanted to see anonymous or others post the cost breakdown of any car out there….all car makers do a competitive teardown…they all have a cost of production for their own stuff. The information is out there.

  • avatar
    jonnyguitar

    It sounds contradictory, but I find the conservative styling of VWs to be very refreshing. I find the clean classic lines very preferable to the overwrought busy panels of essentially every other carmaker. VWs really stand out for that reason amond modern autos, and I really like it, picked up a Golf R last month!

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I’m the same way. For me, the current Passat’s dash is just about perfection. Exterior is likewise the most attractive offering (’13 Accord prior to latest ginger-bread refresh was a contender as well).

      If only they could get their act together in terms of getting even the most basic build/reliability things right. Oil leaks on one year old cars, from a motor that’s been around for years in Europe? Are you kidding me?! Smells like PCV issues to be honest, they’re running a fair amount of boost through that 1.8, my guess is that some of the blow-by is simply building up too much in the crankcase. This can cause some other ‘fun’ problems, namely the intake valve gunking from oil vapor buildup by way of that over-worked PCV.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “a white Passat with black mirrors, a black-painted roof, a black lip spoiler on its deck lid, black badging, revised tail lamps and red accents on its fascia and brake calipers.”

    Which of these things will make the car actually perform better?

    This just sounds like the same cosmetic Blacktop/Midnight/Darkside Edition stuff that is offered by Dodge, Nissan, Chevy, Cadillac, and Jaguar.

    • 0 avatar
      fincar1

      …and it’s very reminiscent of the 1980’s when the Sport model had no changes except for the word SPORT painted on it somewhere and maybe a body-colored grille.

      • 0 avatar
        notwhoithink

        I think that you mean “very reminiscent of the 2015 Passat Sport” that had purely cosmetic changes. Or for that matter, any current “Sport” trim level for a modern midsize sedan (although Honda does give you an extra 5 HP and a strut tower brace).

  • avatar
    Ooshley

    This car already exists. It just has Skoda badge on it. See: Superb 206 TSI 4×4.

  • avatar
    jfbar167

    I’ll throw in my 2 cents. My first thought regarding an “upgraded” motor for this “experiment”. The “new” 3 row crossover (that is going into production in Chattanooga) is rumored to use either a 2.0T or 3.6 motor, it makes sense that they would consider either one for this.

    I also think the (very underrated) CC NEEDS to replace the Passat as the “Flagship” sedan. Keep the looks, “decontent” it to bring down the price.

  • avatar
    tsoden

    Isn’t the “CC” or the Passat “CC” suppose to do this already???

  • avatar
    Testacles Megalos

    Starting with the pictured car, to get to an interesting Passat, perhaps called the Passat Track. (can’t use “S”, already taken by Audi, and besides, Audi’s S line has become 30% more money for 5% more content…. Perhaps Porsche would let VW use “GTS” because that’s really what the car could be, a sports grand tourer).
    1. Lose the ridiculous trapezoid chin ubiquitous to Japanese cars; makes cars look like carps. From the bumper surface down, make it a continuous slight radius back with two large openings/air intakes, one on either side of a central pillar and each occupying about 30% of the surface. Give it a subtle splitter shelf, dark color.
    2. Keep the big wheels (19s?) but make them 245 or 255s.
    3. Four pot brake calipers (NOT Boy Racer Red) all around, no sliders.
    4. Coil-over suspension all around
    5. Twin-turbo V6 and a 6 speed gearbox, with an optional PDK.
    6. Quaife-based AWD with a rear-drive bias. I want to be able to set this car with the throttle without having to first lift or LFB.
    7. Having said that, any electronic aids need to be switchable (including complete “OFF”, and that means left foot braking capability without killing the power!!!)
    8. Recaro seating.
    9. Only available colors: Meteor Gray, or Guards Red, both with the opposite color very subtle door decal “Passat GTS” just below the belt line between the wheel wells, block letters.
    10. Offer it in an Avant version (maybe I just spec’ed out a late ‘90s Audi Avant RS4???)

    Build that car, VW, and I’ll stick with your brand after you buy my diesel Sportwagen back from me.

  • avatar
    matt3319

    Picking up my Fortana Red Passat R-Line tonight. Got LED package with comfort package. Only 1/6 in the country according to the dealer search. The 1.8T was much much better than I thought. I will have room galore and sweet 19″ wheels.

    Bye bye Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.

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