Welcome to the world’s second four-door coupe, the Passat CC. Following the lead of the Mercedes CLS, Volkswagen has redrawn the Passat to give us this swoopy mini-me Phaeton lookalike saloon. It’s an attempt to stretch the Passat further upmarket – away from its humdrum fleet roots and nearer the hallowed doorway to the compact premium market.
It’s a Passat underneath, but being 31mm longer and 50mm lower makes it look very swish. All the body panels are new, the doors are frameless, there’s no more chromed grille, and the drag coefficient is a slippery 0.29 Cd. And we’ve only got to wait five months before the CC goes on sale in the UK: the USA and Japan won’t get the Passat CC until the fourth quarter of 2008.
Passat CC: tech fest
The CC is packed full of technology. ‘Mobility tyres’ have a specially flexible rubber designed to encapsulate any sharp object but still keep the tyre sealed. Lane Assist helps you stay in your lane, by nudging the wheel should you unintentionally cross the white line. There’s ACC automatic distance control, which also primes the brakes if it foresees an accident, and Park Assist already seen on the Touran. Press a button and then just accelerate and brake while the car steers for you.
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Volkswagen claims the Passat CC is a sporty car, so all but the base petrol and diesel models get DDC (Dynamic Drive Control). DDC offers Normal, Comfort and Sport modes, allowing to you to tailor the car to your needs. And if you’re not feeling sporty enough then there’s always the power dome in the bonnet…
The Passat CC is a pure four-seater, but to make sure you don’t ever feel claustrophobic in the back you can have a sunfoof stetching from the A to B-pillar, while those up front get to play with Volkswagen’s new touchscren multimedia system, should they pay for it. There’s a rear parking camera, set within the VW logo, and a 535-litre boot.
Engines will range from a 138bhp diesel and 158bhp TSI, stretching up to a 296bhp 3.6-litre V6 with four-wheel drive as standard. Wheels will be 17-inch as standard, and expect a premium for the Passat CC to put it directly head-to-head with Merc, BMW and Audi on price.
They say: VW invents a new volume segment
We say: Don’t fall for the spin – it’s elegant, but hardly a groundbreaker
CAR verdict: 4/5