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Volkswagen has released the first official photos of the all-new sixth generation Passat. The B6 (sixth generation B-class platform, also known as the PQ46) has grown larger in all dimensions, offers a range of new powerplants including an all-new 280hp 3.6l six-cylinder and has an overall more upscale appearance that continues the legacy that the B5 Passat leaves behind.

The Passat has grown in size with the sixth generation model to an overall length of 187.7 inches and a width of 71.7 inches. That brings the length up 2.5 inches and width a whopping 3 inches over the outgoing B5 Passat. We were given a sneak peak at the new B6 Passat several months ago and in the metal the new Passat has a bit of Audi A6 meets B5 Passat meets Chrysler 300M meets Phaeton. Proportions look great on the new car, especially the extra width which give the car a much better stance - the car actually looks much wider than these photos show it.
 

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The B6 Passat will be available with a 200hp 2.0l turbocharged 4-cylinder with FSI currently found in the GTI. This engine will replace the venerable 1.8T as the new base engine. The 2.0T FSI will be mated to either the MQ350 six-speed transmission or the butter-smooth Aisin built six-speed Tiptronic automatic. Also new to the Passat and unique to the U.S. market is an all-new 280hp 3.6l VR6 FSI that replaces the current 2.8l Audi V6. This new 3.6l VR6 model will only be sold in the U.S. market B6 Passat initially (Germany will get a 250hp 3.2l VR6 FSI) and will be available only with a six-speed tiptronic in either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive configurations. Since the new B6 Passat utilizes Golf V component sharing (HVAC, engines, transmissions, etc., etc.) the B6 Passat has moved to a transverse engine layout which also means a switch from a Torsen-based AWD system to a Haldex-based AWD system.
The new Passat is also a recipient of the Golf V's vastly improved revised Macpherson strut front suspension and all-new full indepenent rear suspension. Coupled with a claimed 57% increase in torsional rigidity over the outgoing model, the new B6 Passat reportedly rides and handles wonderfully with virtually no dive, no squat and no roll even on base configurations.
 

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Expect the B6 Passat to have a full compliment of standard and optional features including a new electronic parking brake system, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, optional DVD-based navigation system, Bluetooth support, all-new key system with no traditional cut key but rather a transmitter device that gets inserted into the dash and pushed to start. Pricing is expected to start where the current car leaves off and climb to around $38,000 fully loaded with AWD, HID, 280hp 3.6l VR6, navigation, leather and more.
 

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The B6 Passat will be shown publicly at the Geneva Auto Show in March 2005 followed closely by the debut of the U.S. version at the New York Auto Show. The 2.0T FSI sedan will go on sale here in North America first in the 3rd quarter of 2005 (in dealers in August as of this writing) followed by the 3.6l VR6 sedan in October of 2005. The wagon will be a delayed introduction in February of 2006. Expect options to include both a sport line and a luxury line with aluminum trim, sport suspension and larger wheels on the sport line and wood trim and more luxury features going the luxury option route. Navigation and high-intensity discharge headlamps will also be available as an option so Volkswagen is addressing criticism from existing owners that options available on German cars aren't available on North American models. Overall the packaging and trim levels look very promising
 

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The Volkswagen Official Press Release Follows Below:

This is it – the new Passat. Initial photos and facts as a taster before the premiere in February 2005. The launch will follow in the first European countries in March, after which the sixth generation of the bestselling model – more than 13 million Passats have been sold to date – will also be launched on the other continents.

The new Passat is a car which is just as stylish as it is functional, comfortable and well thought-out. Volkswagen has not only redesigned the major features – the engines, running gear and the body. To improve the mobile lifestyle, the cleverly-designed functional elements make all the difference. There are many examples of this: the Bluetooth telephone unit, the high-quality sound system, the sporty but comfortable long-distance seats, the intelligent starting and locking system, the electronic parking brake, automatic distance control, draught-free Climatronic ventilation or simply the very stylish interior and exterior. That is the new Passat.

Design - the new face of Volkswagen?

Its striking design shows stylish lines, is extremely distinctive and shows a progressive brand image with a chrome shield.shaped radiator grille – the new face. The much-acclaimed Concept R (Roadster) and Concept C (Cabriolet-Coupé) showed the stylistic direction for this VW face of the future. The Passat is the first production vehicle to now show these characteristics.

The rear section of the Passat is characterised by fast responding LED rear lights which reproduce the styling of the headlights with a round main element.

Dimensions – controlled growth

Its is traditional in terms of the series that the new Passat offers a spacious interior close to that offered by the luxury-class. Thanks to the transversely-mounted engines and the slightly larger body dimensions however, this applies now more than ever. In detail, the new Passat is 4.77 metres long (+ 62 mm), 1.82 metres wide (+ 74 mm) and 1.47 metres tall (+ 10 mm). Its wheelbase measures 2.71 metres (+ 6 mm); the luggage compartment offers a maximum volume of 565 litres (+ 90 litres). Another dimension is particularly exciting however: the static torsional rigidity. Its value is 57 percent greater than that of its already very good predecessor and represents the best value in its class.



Engines – six out of seven are direct injection and new to the Passat range

Petrol engines: With the exception of the entry-level engine with 75 kW / 102 PS, all the petrol engines are new to the Passat range. The four-cylinder FSI engines with homogeneous direct injection have an output of 85 kW / 115 PS, 110 kW / 150 PS and 147 kW / 200 PS. A 3.2 litre V6 FSI with 184 kW / 250 PS will top off the range in the fourth quarter of 2005.

Diesel engines: Each of the three TDIs are being used in this series for the first time. These will be as a 77 kW / 105 PS, 103 kW / 140 PS and 125 kW / 170 PS units. The diesel engines will also gradually be offered with a diesel particulate filter. The most powerful TDI is equipped with the highly innovative Piezzo-operated high pressure fuel injection system and two balancer shafts, as is the 103 kW TDI with diesel particulate filter. The 85 kW, 110 kW and 147 kW petrol engines can be combined with a comfortable six-speed automatic gearbox; the two more powerful TDI engines with the innovative dual-clutch gearbox (DSG). Models with the 4MOTION four-wheel drive will follow at a later date.

Interior – fresher, more driver-orientated, more functional

A glance at the interior of the new Passat reveals a transparent, fresh, luxurious and stylish design, high-quality materials and technology orientated towards people and not towards what is theoretically possible. The aim here was to achieve perfect ergonomics and operation. The Passat cockpit is therefore more driver-orientated then ever, with sporty and clean line functional elements and stylistic brilliancy. The interior can be adapted according to personal preferences, for example through four equipment lines, each available with four colour schemes together with wood and aluminium trims.



Technology – the most intelligent Passat of all time

New Feature I, The Electronic Parking Brake The Passat has an electronic parking brake as standard – a first in this class. It engages and disengages at the touch of a button. Its electronic control system is linked to other control units via a network. This means it can perform a series of new brake functions. These include dynamic onboard braking system, auto release (for hill starts) and vehicle hold (no need to hold down the brake pedal at traffic lights)

New Feature II, Starting and Locking System - The Passat's remote control starting and locking functions have been developed as an entirely new system. It dispenses with the conventional ignition key. Instead the central locking transmitter slots into a holder to the right of the steering wheel and the driver then presses it to start the engine. In models equipped with Volkswagen's keyless entry system, now available in the Passat for the first time, the engine simply starts at the touch of button.

New Feature III, Automatic Distance Control - Automatic distance control, which Volkswagen first introduced in the Phaeton, is now available in the new Passat, marking another new development in this segment. The system is intuitively operated via a lever on the steering column. As soon as the distance to the vehicle in front falls below a defined value, the Passat applies the brakes until the car has slowed to a speed which has been preset via the cruise control system. Once the lane ahead is clear again, the Passat accelerates to the previously selected speed.

New Feature IV, Bluetooth Telephone - The Passat has an optional telephone unit with hands-free capability featuring a bluetooth interface. The ingenious part of the system is that if you have started a telephone call outside the Passat, you can still get in and drive away while continuing the call, provided you have a suitable Bluetooth mobile phone.

New Feature V, Dynaudio Sound System - Volkswagen has paid utmost attention to the quality of infotainment and entertainment in the new Passat. The 600-Watt high-end sound system from the hifi specialist Dynaudio offers an outstanding audio experience. The 10-channel system equipped with excellent components sets a new standard in this class. For instance, the top navigation system is fed with road data via DVD.
 

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New Feature VI, Draught-free Climatronic Ventilation - The two-zone automatic climate control system is also a unique option in this class. As in the Phaeton, this system allows draught-free ventilation/cooling at the touch of a button.

Power Supply: Business travellers will welcome the ability to recharge a laptop via a 230 Volt power supply.

Bi-Xenon Adaptive Headlights - Major improvements have been made to Passat's headlight systems compared to the predecessor model. Moreover, the adaptive bi-xenon headlights now light up the road even better. They have an integrated dynamic cornering light and a static cornering to ensure optimum illumination of the road ahead. The cornering light enhances safety especially when turning at a crossroads or junction.

Running Gear with ESP + Trailer Stabilisation - The new four-link rear suspension, which is separated from the body by a noise reducing subframe, and the McPherson strut front suspension designed with aluminium components give the Passat an outstanding level of agility, comfort and safety. To make the running gear technology complete, the Passat has ESP and all vehicles with a tow bar are equipped with trailer stabilisation. In addition to the usual ESP functions, this system detects imminent trailer snaking and takes action via the brakes and the engine to prevent it.
 

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Not bad, a little large, don't like the tail lights, they look like the taillights on the G Coupe, Looks like a BMW from the front. Head and rear end remind me of a Yoyota
 
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