MANCHESTER, N.H., May 4, 2011 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — The first new Volkswagen Passat destined for buyers rolled off the Chattanooga, Tenn. assembly line in mid-April, which means Passats will arrive at New Hampshire Volkswagen dealerships like Quirk Volkswagen soon. Designed specifically for the North American market like the hugely successful 2011 VW Jetta, the new Passat will play a large role in helping Volkswagen reach its goal of increasing sales in the United States and beyond.
The new Passat is nearly four inches longer and less expensive than the previous Passat, with a starting price around $20,000. That puts the new Passat in the thick of the U.S. midsize sedan class, which is where Volkswagen is hoping to gain the most ground en route to 800,000 sales in the United States by the year 2018.
“The Passat is a significant step toward Volkswagen’s goal of becoming a top brand in the United States,” said Frank Carnucci, general manager of Quirk Volkswagen, a Manchester, New Hampshire Volkswagen dealer. “They’ve done a lot of work to appeal to American drivers, making the car larger and more affordable without losing the inherent qualities that set VW apart from the competition, like luxury materials and a quiet, sporty ride. It’s still going to feel like a premium car, just without the premium cost.”
2012 Passats will not come with a premium at the gas pump thanks to an engine lineup taken from other efficient Volkswagen models. The base model offers a 2.5-liter inline 5-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower. Also available are a 3.6-liter, 280-horsepower V6 and the popular 2.0-liter TDI diesel that Volkswagen expects to achieve 43 mpg on the highway and a range of nearly 800 miles between fill ups. The 2.5-liter engine can be paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic.
Safety features include VWs Integrated Crash Response System, which unlocks the doors, disconnects the electrical system to prevent fires and turns on the four-way flashers in the event of an accident. Other gadgets available in the Passat are a Fender audio system and Bluetooth connectivity.
Volkswagen says manufacturing at its new Chattanooga plant is responsible for the lower price point. The plant also provides work for regional parts suppliers and employs more than 1,600 Americans. VW hopes to increase the number of people working at the plant to 2,000 once Passat production ramps up.
The first Passat to roll off the line was painted in Night Blue Metallic, with a leather interior and 18-inch alloy wheels. Volkswagen says they’ll hold on to the historic car.
“The 2012 Passat has a lot of qualities that New Hampshire Volkswagen drivers will appreciate,” Carnucci said. “It blends the German engineering that buyers love with more interior room and responsive handling. Like the redesigned Jetta, it’s going to be a hit for sure.”
About Quirk Volkswagen NH:
Quirk Volkswagen NH is the newest addition to the Quirk family of auto dealers, and it is already emerging as the destination for VW lovers throughout southern New Hampshire. They have a fantastic selection of new and used Volkswagens ranging from the Jetta to the Tiguan, and the friendly, experienced sales and service staff to back them up. You can browse Quirk Volkswagen’s inventory online at www.quirkvwnh.com, like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/QuirkVolkswagenNH, call them at (603) 626-7000 or visit their dealership at 1100 S. Willow Street in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Jim Smith, of Quirk Automotive Group, 781-843-4800