Greetings from Langkawi, where we are being hosted by Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia for a pre-launch media drive of the all-new 2016 Volkswagen Passat B8.
Official prices have yet to be communicated, although VPCM officials have confirmed that the locally-assembled Passat receives EEV incentives from the Government, thus ensuring that the car will be available for competitive money.
A line up consisting of three variants are slated for introduction, consisting of the 1.8 TSI Trendline, 1.8 TSI Comfortline, and 2.0 TSI Highline.
We will publish a full review of the Passat B8 shortly after our return from Langkawi, but for starters, we list down five key features of Volkswagen’s all-new D-segment flagship.
1.Park Assist 3.0 (1.8 TSI Comfortline and 2.0 TSI only): Park Assist is not a strictly new feature. Volkswagen already has Park Assist 2.0 in the Golf, which can help you park your vehicle both sideways and in reverse. The Passat’s Park Assist 3.0 adds forward-in parking into perpendicular bays on top of the existing functions.
2.Dynamic Chassis Control (2.0 TSI only): A feature allowing the driver to alternate between five driving modes – Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport, and Individual. These modes can be cycled at the press of a button adjacent to the gear lever. Parameters that vary with each driving mode include engine and transmission mappings, electric steering assistance levels, and stiffness of the adaptive dampers. In Sport mode, the LED headlamps even swivel faster to enable the driver to see oncoming corners more rapidly. In Individual mode, the driver can specify customized combination of settings for the above parameters.
3.Handsfree Boot Lid Opening (1.8 TSI Comfortline and 2.0 TSI only): Variants of the Passat with keyless entry come together with Easy Opening Tailgate, which allows the boot lid to open with just a kick under the rear bumper. The handsfree function does not cover closing, however, to do that, press the button on the bootlid or do it the old-fashioned way.
4.Active Info Display (2.0 TSI only): Arguably the Passat’s party piece. A 12.3-inch TFT colour screen that functions as a virtual instrument cluster. It allows the driver a wide degree of customization of the instrument display, and even shows navigational maps. This feature gives the Passat tremendous showroom appeal and convincingly elevates it to premium standing.
5.XDS+ (2.0 TSI only): Under the hood of the 2.0 TSI variant is effectively the engine and transmission of the Golf GTI, which means this is an executive sedan with sports car performance. To ensure that the vehicle has the handling to match its power, Volkswagen also throws in the GTI’s XDS+ brake-actuated torque vectoring system that helps nullify understeer at fast corners. The system works by braking the inner front wheel around a bend to ‘pull’ the vehicle into the apex.
Follow this link for our sneak preview video of the all-new Passat B8 produced in collaboration with our friends from Autofreaks.com, Malaysian EVO, and Roda Pusing.