Official Sketch: VW's New Sedan!
Feb. 23, 2009
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Volkswagen has released an official sketch of its new mid-size sedan that will hit the North American market in about two years.
It looks attractive — with balanced, albeit fairly typical, proportions and enough character lines to make the design interesting.
The front end is squared off and handsomely rakish. A bold shoulder line begins above the headlamps and flows all the way into the back fenders, giving the vehicle a powerful and athletic stance.
The as-yet-unnamed sedan is part of VW's strategy to triple sales in the United States and Canada. It is being developed specifically with these markets in mind and will be built at a dedicated factory that is currently under construction in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
VW will initially produce 150,000 cars per year when the assembly line starts rolling in early 2011.
Competitive targets include the top-selling Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.
Based on our knowledge of Volkswagen, the competition and the market, VolksWatch makes the following predictions. The mid-size sedan will be a front-wheel-drive available with both four-cylinder and V6 engines. The automatic transmission will have a manumatic function for shifting its six or seven gears. A six-speed manual transmission may be offered but, due to limited demand, may be passed over in favor of better economies of scale. The interior will be executed in typical high-quality VW fashion. And top-end sport and luxury features are expected to differentiate VW's sedan from the more conservative Camry and Accord.
The launch of the new mid-size sedan will likely spell the end for at least one current VW model — as the automaker finds it has several models directly competing against each other for the same buyers. For example, a mildly or fully loaded Jetta could be in the same market segment as the new sedan as well as an entry-level Passat, not to mention the new Passat CC. VW already has some considerable market overlap and it will get worse.
Our prediction: The regular Passat will die while the sleeker, more upscale Passat CC lives on.