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The Next Generation Passat Hailing From Tennessee

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On: Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 2:20PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

The Next Generation Passat Hailing From Tennessee

There’s a new VW coming to town and it’s the next generation of the Passat. Volkswagen is proud to proclaim this is going to “change the rules.”What it’s also going to do is provide 12,000 jobs for some lucky Americans workers. That’s because this version of the Passat is going to be built at Volkswagen’s new plant based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The job forecast breaks down as 2,000 hires at the plant and the remaining 10,000 to be scattered across various suppliers. That’s good news all around.

All of this is part of the German automaker’s big plans for the coming years. Their goal is to triple U.S. sales of Volkswagen and Audi. That’s going to mean selling 1 million units by the year 2018. Last year, VW sold 359,889 of its vehicles in America. That’s a long way to go to one million, but it also represents an increase of 21% over sales in 2009. They are obviously headed in the right direction.

“We have a long way to go, but we are clearly on the move,” so says Jonathan Browning, president and CEO of Volkswagen of America. “The Passat will become our second-best selling car, behind the Jetta sedan.” The base line price for this version of Passat will be around $20,000, which makes it a very affordable choice for many potential auto buyers.

In terms of additional improvements, the Passat with be sporting a longer 110.4" wheelbase body frame. That’s going to translate into more leg room for backseat passengers. Buyers will also be presented with three trim levels and 16 equipment levels to pick from when they set about to “build their own Passat.”

This won’t be the first time that VW has incorporated a longer-wheelbase in their models. In Europe, the Czech version of VW, Skoda, put out a longer-wheelbase car they called the Superb. Believe it or not, the reason behind the roomier backseat in these cars was to appeal to businessmen who had chauffeurs. Apparently, that’s all the rage in Europe!

There will also be three engine options including a 2.0-liter, 140-hp four-cylinder turbo-diesel that can squeeze out 43 mpg on the highway. For folks looking for fuel efficiency, that’s a pretty decent ride. The 170-hp five-cylinder engine can be equipped with five-speed manual or as a six-speed automatic. The third engine option is a 3.6-liter which delivers a mighty 280 hp.

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