SEMA 2008 show report: Volkswagen Passat CC | CAR Magazine

SEMA 2008 show report: Volkswagen Passat CC

Published: 07 November 2008 Updated: 26 January 2015

Volkswagen’s sobriety took a back seat at the SEMA show in Las Vegas this week – it pulled the covers off a pair of muscle-bound Passat CCs, a racy 295bhp Tiguan and a grunty diesel Jetta aimed at cajoling the American market into turning its back on gasoline.

A hot VW Passat CC isn’t without appeal…

The unambiguously named Performance CC – designed by Volkswagen’s California-based design centre – gets a shot in the arm from a three-stage turbo boost to its 2.0-litre TSI engine. In Eco mode you get a modest 222bhp and 236 lb ft of torque, GT mode hikes those outputs to 252bhp and 268 lbs ft, while the Full Power stage unleashes 311bhp and 313 lb ft. Expect expletive-inducing acceleration – and torque steer – on tap. Behind those 20-inch alloys sit 356mm Brembo brakes gripped by four-pot calipers.

To ensure it looks the part, the CC is kitted out with ‘black chrome’ exterior accents, customer bumpers, a bespoke metallic grey paintjob and a machined aluminium spoiler, while the cabin gets high-gloss piano black touches, matte black graphics and customer Recaro seats.

What’s this Passat Gold Coast all about?

Eye-catching look-at-me luxury, according to Volkswagen. It’s triple-layer paintjob showcases DuPont’s Pepe Pepper tones, which combine gold, brown and silver. This is complemented by custom taillights, a ground-effects bodykit and 19-inch polished alloys. Inside, it’s Latte Macchiatto and Cornsilk leather on all four seats, and to ensure you can give the fashion police a run for their money, the Gold Coast is powered by a 280bhp 3.6-litre V6 FSI engine.

Click ‘Next’ below to read more about the VW Tiguan and Jetta SEMA cars 

And the Tiguan?

It follows a similar performance path to the Passat – body kit and three-stage 295bhp turbo kit, but all the attention will be focused on its Rockford Fosgate sound system. Its Power T1000-1bd 1000-watt mono amplifier powers two P3D410 dual voice coil 500-watt Punch subwoofers. A Power T400-4 amplifier delivers 400 watts to each of the door component speakers featuring 6.5-inch mid-bass in the front doors and 5.25-inch mid-bass in the rear doors, with matched inverted hard dome tweeters. Which, we think, means it’s quite loud.

Is the diesel Jetta equally bizarre?

No, it’s pretty dull compared to what we get here in the UK. Built to capitalise on the conclusion of this year’s Jetta TDI Cup series, VW unveiled its Jetta TDI Cup ‘Street’ edition at SEMA. Fitted with bigger brakes and what VW calls European sport tuned suspension, the Jetta is powered by the group’s new common-rail turbodiesel 2.0-litre that delivers a modest 140bhp and 236lb ft of torque. Hardly a fireball, then and it makes you wonder why VW didn’t go the whole hog and drop in the 170bhp version of the same engine… Chunky 18-inch alloys, trick rubber, six-cog DSG box and a smattering of TDI Cup Edition logos complete the package. Expect it to arrive in America in early 2010 with a sub $30,000 price tag.

By Ben Whitworth

Contributing editor, sartorial over-achiever, HANS device shirt collars