Volkswagen unveils the new Passat; diesel version expected to deliver 43 mpg highway
10 January 2011
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Volkswagen of America, Inc., staged the world debut of the new Passat. Designed in Germany and made in America, the new Passat was developed as a larger vehicle with premium features and handling characteristics.
The all-new Passat offers three drivetrain options: a 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel; a 2.5L gasoline engine, and a 3.6L VR6 gasoline engine. The diesel version—the Passat TDI— is expected to deliver 43 miles per gallon (5.47 l/100KM) on the highway, with a range of approximately 800 miles (1,287 km).
The four-cylinder 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel delivers 140 hp/236 lb-ft (104 kW/320 N·m) and uses a NOx storage converter to meet 50-state emissions requirements. Optional on the Passat TDI will be Volkswagen’s 6-speed DSG transmission.
The 2.5L five cylinder engine (170 hp/177 lb-ft) (127 kW/,240 N·m) which is being offered in the Passat for the first time, will be mated to a standard 5-speed manual transmission. As an alternative, the 2.5 multi port injection engine may be paired with a 6-speed automatic.
The 3.6 liter VR6 offers 280 hp/258 lb-ft (209 kW/350 N·m) with estimated 28 mpg (8.4 L/100km) on the highway. Gear shifting on the new Passat VR6 is handled by a standard 6-speed DSG incorporating an automatic dual-clutch system that instantly engages and disengages gears without the need for a clutch pedal.
With a special computer controlling the process, one clutch is engaged on the next gear while the clutch from the previous gear is released.
Volkswagen expects the new Passat and the all-new Jetta to be the sales leaders in its plan to significantly increase market share in the United States.
My son bought one but cannot get more than 800/850 Km per tank. The 1110 Km advertised is at a stead 57 kph and he and everybody drive at twice that speed. One has to be careful about manufacturers claims.
Posted by: HarveyD | 10 January 2011 at 06:40 AM
Both the Passat and Jetta are now way too "plain jane" in styling...they don't need goofy off the wall smart car styling but they could be a little more exotic & distinct along the lines of BMW. Passat & Jetta used to have distinct and interesting styling - I don't know why they've gone in this direction.
Posted by: ejj | 10 January 2011 at 06:40 AM
Americans experience diesel from a FedEx van or some huge pickup truck with a diesel engine. They have heard them, they have smelled them, so if car makers want to sell them in the U.S. they are going to have to show potential buyers that their impressions are wrong.
Posted by: SJC | 10 January 2011 at 12:26 PM
I've noticed the same thing about their stying.
It is likely to cost them dearly.
Posted by: ToppaTom | 10 January 2011 at 08:18 PM
SJC. You cannot hear or smell modern diesel cars. In the US, you cannot see them either; the same as in Sweden, until a couple of years ago. In 2010, diesel cars captured more than 50% market share in Sweden, i.e. a very fast development.
In Europe, you can buy the new Passat in a version that gives you a fuel consumption of 4.3 liters per 100 km. It would be interesting to find out what the differences between this version and the US version (at 5.5 l/100 km) are.
Posted by: Peter_XX | 10 January 2011 at 11:59 PM
The 4.3 L/100km version is a 1.6 L TDI, not the 2.0, which gets 4.6 L/100km. Also very good! (Why would you want to suffer the reduced power then?!?).
Both versions have manual transmissions. I suspect the 5.5 L/100km version in the US has a regular AT because the DSG (vastly superior a regular AT) gets 5.2 L/100km.
It seems those are the main differences. I don't know whether the NOx converter subtracts a little efficiency.
If you gun it at all green lights and apply the brakes a lot on highways, economy will suffer. Changing the low rolling resistance tyres will also have a detrimental effect, as does mounting wider tyres (+10% consumption on my car)
Generally the frugal cars have to be driven 'frugally' to achieve the stated mpg. Then it is possible in my personal experience (from driving 100,000 km in a Golf 2.0 TDI).
An aerodynamic car like the new Passat should get 45-50 mpg easy at 75 mph. Definitely at 65 mph! (with manual or DSG)
Posted by: Thomas Pedersen | 11 January 2011 at 03:12 PM
HarveyD, your son would not have bought one of these cars. They're not even on the market yet.
Your son might have bought a *similar* car, but it won't have been this one. If it was in the 2001 - 2002 model year timeframe, it's not the same car. If it was a North American specification model (I don't know where you live), it would have had a conventional torque-converter automatic transmission, which was not particularly efficient. The DSG is a whole different ball game.
This new one appears to be mechanically the same as the current (2009+) Jetta/Golf TDI. I have a 2006 model (previous engine) and it will routinely go 900+ km until low fuel lamp, even in the winter (yesterday's fill-up was at 956 km and the lamp was not on yet). My dad has a 2011 Golf TDI which is the same engine/trans as the upcoming Passat, and his fuel consumption is very close to the same as mine. If there's a Golf TDI that is only going 800 km per tank, there's either something wrong with the car, or there's something wrong with the driver.
Posted by: Brian P | 13 January 2011 at 08:05 AM
My 2005 Passat TDI gets 40 mpg at 80 mph on the highway. In the city I average between 34-36 mpg. When I drove it back from Louisiana after buying it on e-bay it got 44.4 mpg. The car is wonderful, and there is nothing wrong with the styling. Now they just need to make a light diesel truck.
Posted by: Coke Machine | 14 January 2011 at 05:06 AM
Thomas. Of course engine size is one of the parameters that influence fuel consumption. Presumably, the 1.6 MT is more fun to drive than the 2.0 AT. Europeans prefer the former option but US drivers cannot learn use a MT so this is not an option in the USA. I must admit myself that the DSG is a very nice experience, albeit that the older 6-speed version used in Passat is less efficient than the new 7-speed version used in smaller VW cars. Still, there is a huge difference between 4.6 and 5.5 l/100 km that cannot be explained by differences in transmission and final drive alone. The NOx storage catalyst on Euro 6 BMW cars in Europe does not increase fuel consumption or CO2 emissions. Presumably, the negative effects are compensated by BMW via gains in other areas, e.g. revised EGR and/or modified injection timing. SCR catalysts are supposedly better than NOx storage catalysts. VW used an SCR catalyst on the previous Passat in its Euro 6 version. I have not yet seen any information about what kind of catalyst will be used on the new Passat in its Euro 6 version. I expect that the impact of the NOx catalyst in the US version is very low. All in all, I do not think that differences in transmission and catalysts can explain the difference in fuel consumption noted. I am afraid that the US version may lack many of the components in the BlueMotion package used on the European version of the Passat.
I get about 55 mpg on the highway with my BMW 320d Touring. The average for "normal" driving is close to 50 mpg (4.9 l/100 km). In most cases, I get more than 1200 km per tank. Eventually, I will consider the Passat as an option for the future...
Posted by: Peter_XX | 14 January 2011 at 10:16 AM
Where is the new VW hippie bus? Millions of people will buy a new version sort of like their old Eurovan camper if they make it (A) affordable! (B) great mileage and (C) powerful enough to carry a family. How about a diesel hybrid of this? Add solar panels to the roof as an option- hydraulic assist would be best. A vertical pop-up loft- stove, sink-outdoor shower hose-heasted by those solar panels-wake up VW we're waiting!
Posted by: Nick Gencarelle | 26 January 2011 at 11:11 AM