Volkswagen has decided to move in on BMW’s 3-Series market with, apparently, the Passat. I view this as a good thing, as most people cannot tell the difference between a Passat and a Jetta, and this should certainly help. A Passat is a VW that likes to pretend it’s an Audi, which is itself just a VW playing dress-up. More details after the jump.
VW says the Passat is getting a new 3.0L engine producing 300 horsies, but diesel and hybrid trims will also eventually be available. To make it seem more like a luxury vehicle, they are also throwing some gadgets in, such as airless tires, and wiperless window cleaning. By all accounts, all this tech mumbo-jumbo will make the new Passat more like a Lexus ES350 or Acura TL than a 3-series. But I guess VW can pretend to target whatever target they want, it’s their car.
My gut reaction is that the tires will be filled with some sort of foam, and that they will be obnoxiously difficult and expensive to replace, but I have no idea how wiperless window cleaning could work. My current best guess is that every Passat will ship with sponge-wielding elves under the hood that run out and clean at the press of a button. I’m half expecting VW to announce that it will also have wheelless steering and frictionless braking.
This version of the Passat can be expected in 2010 or 2011, and should be followed by a station wagon version.