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Preview: Sleek Stylish Passat CC
Jan. 14, 2008

Preview: Sleek Stylish Passat CC
Where sport and luxury collide, the Passat CC. Click on images for larger views.

With its absolutely stunning Passat CC, Volkswagen has cracked another styling home run clear out of the park!

Unveiled yesterday at the Detroit auto show, the CC is the epitome of what a sporting luxury sedan is all about.

The CC is what the overwrought Phaeton should have been — and now, all of a sudden, other VWs seem a bit boring and dated (Tiguan exempt).

And if you share our enthusiasm, you don't have to wait too long to see this sleek and stylish piece of machinery at your local dealership — it'll hit the market in North America this October, after a spring launch in Europe.

So here's the lowdown!

Not one doubt about it, the Passat CC makes its biggest case on style. It's being referred to as the Passat coupe — a moniker we're not fond of as the vehicle has four doors, not two — however, the coupe influence is clear with a long sweeping roof, fastback rear, subtle trunk-lip spoiler and oversized wrap-around taillamps.

Preview: Sleek Stylish Passat CC
A long sweeping roof, fastback rear, subtle trunk-lip spoiler, large wrap-around
taillamps — plus a styling trick at the top of the trunk — all contribute to the coupe look.

VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT CC PREVIEW
Vehicle Type Mid-size sedan,
front- or all-wheel-drive
Estimated
Price Range
To be determined
Availability October 2008

Engines I4, 2.0-liter,
200-horsepower,
turbocharged


V6, 3.6-liter,
280-horsepower
Transmissions Six-speed manual


Six-speed automatic
with manumatic shifting
VW uses a styling trick at the very top edge of the trunk lid, where it meets the back window. A black painted strip makes the window appear larger and further promotes the coupe appeal.

Up front, a large grille dominates, flanked by swept-back headlights and topped by an expansive hood with a slight but noticeable center bulge.

The CC's slick profile could have come out of a BMW design lab, accentuated by character creases, convex and concave surfaces, and complemented by frameless doors and angular rearview mirrors.

Chrome garnishes are not overdone, unlike other Volkswagens, and have a tasteful elegant effect around the grille and side windows, as well as on the doors, back bumper and dual exhaust pipes.

Compared to the regular Passat, the CC is 1.2 inches longer, 1.4 inches wider and two inches lower for a more fluid and dynamic overall shape.

Preview: Sleek Stylish Passat CC
The CC's profile is BMW-like with character creases, plus convex and concave surfaces.

The interior is equally as gorgeous as the exterior.

The CC takes the already-good-looking tiered dash of the regular Passat and adds a new instrument cluster with two small gauges inside two large gauges, similar to BMW, all four with chrome surrounds; warm elegant wood or brushed aluminum trim; a new layout for the climate-control system; plus the option of three new luxurious leather-wrapped steering wheels.

At night, ambient lighting softly illuminates the passenger cabin, which boasts sculpted seats for four. The front seats can be ventilated and heated, the back seats only heated.

Preview: Sleek Stylish Passat CC
The luxurious interior is bathed in warm elegant wood, metal accents and supple leather.

Volkswagen is using the Passat CC to showcase numerous advanced technologies, the least of which are a panoramic sunroof and new-generation touch-screen navigation system.

When in reverse, the navigation screen changes to the view of the rear parking camera, which is located in the VW emblem on the trunk.

Dynamic Drive Control modifies the electrically adjustable suspension and power steering appropriately for normal, comfort and sport settings. DDC is operated by a button next to the gear shifter on the center console.

Lane assist helps keep the CC in its rightful lane. At speeds above 40 MPH (65 KPH), the system detects lane markings and gently steers the car if it's about to cross them. Lane assist doesn't intervene if the appropriate turn signal is used, indicating an intentional lane change. The driver can override lane assist with little force. The system also senses if both hands leave the steering wheel, emitting an acoustic and vibration alert.

At this time, it is not known whether the above technologies will be standard or optional on the North American Passat CC.

Preview: Sleek Stylish Passat CC
The passenger cabin boasts sculpted seating for four.

What is known are the engine choices, which are identical to the regular Passat.

Base power comes from Volkswagen's popular 2.0T turbocharged four-cylinder with 200 horsepower. VW claims a zero-to-60-MPH acceleration time under 7.6 seconds, which is respectable. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, a six-speed automatic with manumatic shifting optional.

The top engine is VW's famed 3.6-liter VR6 with 280 horsepower. Acceleration from zero to 60 MPH is claimed at under 6.8 seconds. Full-time 4Motion all-wheel drive is standard, as is a six-speed automatic with manumatic shifting.

In Europe, the VR6 pumps out 20 more horsepower for a nice round 300 and both engines can be teamed with VW's new seven-speed direct-shift transmission. Unfortunately not so in North America, likely because these latest technologies have not yet been certified for use here.

Europe also gets two TDI diesel four-cylinders with 140 and 170 horsepower, plus a turbo 1.8-liter gas four-cylinder with 160 horsepower as the base motor.

As for filling the big fenders, 17-inch alloy wheels are standard, 18s optional.

The styling direction of the Tiguan and now the Passat CC is getting us excited for other Volkswagens coming down the pipeline — VWs that include a new minivan (to be revealed next month), Scirocco sports coupe (although not for North America), redesigned GTI and Rabbit, plus a few more.

Also see:
Passat CC Photos

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