2011 Detroit: 2012 Volkswagen Passat takes on midsize segment with diesel option

Volkswagen AG revealed the 2012 Passat today as “the new midsize sedan” for the US market after months of anticipation. Heavily influenced by Audi’s design language, and quite a bit larger than its predecessors, the new Passat will be built in Chattanooga, Tennessee instead of Dresden, Germany where the last generation Passat, or the B6, was manufactured. Also, unlike the new B7 Euro spec Passat, which was unveiled at the Paris Auto Show in 2010 and is virtually only the B6 but heavily facelifted, the US Spec B7 Passat is a completely new car that was designed specifically for the North American Market to match the interests and lifestyles of Americans.

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The engines offered for the new Passat are ones we are already fairly used to. Base models will receive the same 2.5L 5-cylinder, good for 170 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. A new diesel model will also be offered—last seen available with the B5 generation Passat—featureing the same famous 2.0L turbodiesel inline-4 that debuted in the Mk5 Jetta TDI, good for 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. Also being offered is a new VR6 model—which too is has been absent from the Passat lineup since the B5—with a 3.6L narrow-angle V6 that churns out 280 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The base transmission is a 5-speed manual while the 6-speed DSG dual-clutch box is optional. When paired together, VAG said that the TDI with the DSG auto will provide 43 mpg on the highway with a mind-boggling range of 800 miles between fill-ups. Wow!

So with that in mind – would you consider buying the 2011 Volkswagen Passat over the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry or the Hyundai Sonata? Let us know in the poll below.

Hit the jump for the high-res gallery live from the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.

2011 Detroit: 2012 Volkswagen Passat:

2012 Volkswagen Passat:

– By: Chris Chin