published Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Automotive journalists converge on Chattanooga for VW Passat test drives

About 32 automotive journalists got a first peek at the new 2012 Volkswagen Passat today at the Hunter Museum of American Art.

About 150 journalists are expected to visit the city in several waves over the next week to report on the new Passat, the company’s first American-made car in a generation.

With the Walnut Street Bridge framing a dark blue TDI (diesel) copy of the new Chattanooga-made sedan, the journalists heard VW designers talk about the lines of the new car.

Alex Earle, a senior designer at Volkswagen of America, used words such as “pure,” “solid,” and “iconic” to describe the new, bigger Passat.

He said the design, five years in the making, should age well, noting that German auto owners often keep their cars for many years.

The new Passat was made bigger than the current model with American car buyers in mind, Earle said.

“This country is vast and big ...,” he said. “The proportions are different in the United States.”

Company spokesman Mark Gillies, a former executive editor of Car and Driver magazine, said the SE trim level, base-priced at $24,825 with automatic transmission, is expected to be the top-selling Passat.

Pricing for the Passat was released last week, with a base 2.5L model with manual transmission coming in at $19,995, before destination charges.

about Mark Kennedy...

Mark Kennedy is a Times Free Press columnist and editor. He writes the "LIfe Stories" human interest column for the City section and the "Family Life" column for the Life section. He also writes an automotive column, “Test Drive,” for the Business section. For 13 years, Kennedy was features editor of the newspaper, and before that he was the newspaper’s first Sunday editor. The Times Free Press Life section won the state press award for ...

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equersquill said...

With VW's passion for quality and detail the New Passat is an incredible sedan with the American people in mind. Thanks for DAS AUTO (The Car)!

June 1, 2011 at 12:09 a.m.
rjanmozkie said...

Also read the article and it’s true – many are expecting for the latest design of Passat. This was known as the latest medsize car with its different trims and engine type. Passat is basically excellent in performance and could satisfy the driver’s requirements. When it comes to tuning, there’s nothing to worry about because there are a lot of automotive parts that can be easily accessed using the help of the internet.

December 12, 2011 at 11:02 p.m.
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