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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    2020 Volkswagen Passat Teased Before Detroit

      Updated styling, but retains the same platform

    Volkswagen has released some sketches of the upcoming 2020 Passat that will be debuting next month at the Detroit Auto Show. It is clear that the automaker is addressing one of the biggest complaints about the current model, the boring exterior. Volkswagen is taking some ideas from the smaller Jetta with a larger, upright grille; creasing along the side, and new trunk lid design. Aside from the roof, Volkswagen says all of the body panels are new or modified.

    According to media who got the chance to see the car in person during a preview event, the 2020 Passat's interior features a new center stack with an updated infotainment system. Overall interior space is still expansive.

    We were hoping that the next Passat would transition over to the MQB platform, but the model will remain on the PQ46 platform that underpins the current model. Why is that?

    “This segment is shrinking, and we figured that we can give the customers all they need with the current platform instead of spending to switch to a new one,” said Kai Oltmanns, product manager for the Passat to Motor1.

    Automotive News reports that the 2020 Passat will retain the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder and six-speed automatic.

    Pricing for the 2020 Passat will be announced near to its release date, expected to sometime next summer.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Motor1, Volkswagen

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    { the model will remain on the PQ46 platform that underpins the current model. Why is that? “This segment is shrinking, and we figured that we can give the customers all they need with the current platform instead of spending to switch to a new one,” said Kai Oltmanns, product manager for the Passat }

    This statement along with the pictures of VW's EV sedan which I think is super sexy makes me think this could be the last ICE version of this auto so why waste R&D dollars on moving to the MQB platform when you can make this stretch as you plan to introduce a superior EV.

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    I had an 89 and 99 SHO, the newest SHO is faster on paper than both, drove one once, it's not at all the same thing.  I would take the 89 and even the 99 over it in a heartbeat.  The current one, too bunker like, too truck like.  Powertrain wasn't emotionally appealing.  It's not even compelling as a fast luxury car.  Maybe it was the size and weight and AWD drag.  IF you want a large trunk though, the 2010+ Taurus is the thing to get.

    My guess is the 400hp MKZ v6 is the way to go if you are a Ford fan and want a sedan with verve yet.  Fusion Sport a nice option compared to the SHO at least.

    Perhaps if Ford had ever redesigned the intrusive console in the current Taurus, and if it were even slightly space efficient inside at all, it may have helped its fate.

    Edited by regfootball
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    11 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Interesting, I remember when Saturn put in contaminated coolant into a large batch of new cars, some were delivered to customers and others were still on the lot. Saturn did not want anyone getting a car that would die early due to corrosive issues, recalled them all and gave new cars to the buyers with gas card for the inconvenience and then crushed them all. 

    Seems this is the opposite, instead of having this cost during the startup of a product line, they still sold them to make money till it was uncovered.

    Seems VW has a nasty habit of trying to cut corners and lie about it. Sad.

    Hopefully the customers will get a decent deal. VW could build huge positive goodwill by just replacing them all with new.

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      Next up is another 10.25-inch screen housing Hyundai's latest infotainment system. I like the three-window layout on the home screen that you can customize to your needs. Navigating around the system is a breeze with a response touchscreen and capacitive touch buttons sitting on either side. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.
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      Power Selection
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      I wouldn't call this engine quick, but it handles most driving situations with aplomb. This comes down to most of the torque being situated at the lower end of the rpm band. The only area where you might be wishing for more power is merging onto a freeway or keeping up traffic. The eight-speed automatic does an excellent job of maximizing the engine's output.
      Under the Sonata Hybrid's hood is a system comprised of a 2.0L four-cylinder and electric motor to provide a total output of 192 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. The Sonata Hybrid feels just as fast as the standard Sonata around town and on country roads. It does struggle slightly on the highway due to the smaller torque figure. The six-speed automatic doesn't stumble when the change over from electric-only to hybrid mode like I have experienced on other Hyundai/Kia hybrid models.

      Opting for Limited on the Sonata Hybrid brings a solar panel for the roof which acts as a trickle charger for both the 12-volt car battery and 1.6-kWh lithium-ion pack for the hybrid system. Hyundai says that the panel can add an extra two miles of range with adequate sunlight. I can't attest to this claim, but will say the solar panel did add an extra bit of charge to the battery, even on an overcast day.
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      Calm and Collected
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      But the Sonata has an ace up its sleeve. It is also one of the most comfortable cars in the class. Driving over some of the roughest roads in Metro Detroit, the Sonata's suspension soaks up most bumps and imperfections to provide a serene ride. The minimal amount of road and wind noise that comes inside also helps.
      Rising To The Top

      The previous generations of the Sonata were always so close to being at the top of the class. But there always something that held it back whether it was the design, handling, or powertrains. But this new model shows how much Hyundai has put in. There is a nice balance between ride and handling; powertrains are very competent, and the interior is best in the class. Plus, the Sonata still retains Hyundai's trademark of offering a lot for not much money.
      Where most people will stumble on the Sonata is the exterior. It is very much a love or hate it affair. Plus, some of the tech features feel more like a party trick to show to friends than something you'll use. 
      Nevertheless, I think Sonata moves up to the top of the midsize sedan pecking order. 
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    • Met mom and her DTS as she drove part way to our place for the weekend.  Her first long trip with the 11 DTS she got last summer.  I drove it.  Firmer ride than the 2002 or 3 which was it, she finally sold recently. Took an opportunity to get some pics of hers and my TourX together.  She says hers is fast because it has 8 cylinders.  I keep telling her, "mine is faster" because it is, despite less than half the displacement...mine has tUrBo🤣 the evening sunlight was hitting the cars just right. 
    • So there is a Franchise to sell commercial Sprinter Vans.  Per your 6 year old document, I have to assume there must be a newer one, but then only the commercial Sprinter van is called out, not the lowly passenger vans MB sells. Reviewing the web site, I see they moved the Metris passenger van under the commercial franchise. So selling is under the franchise.  Service is still possible at all the dealers as this 2015 document you pointed to, thank you, does not say that a dealer cannot work on the vans without a franchise agreement, only sell.
    • It's not like it's some sort of 'special privilege' or anything to sell work vans. All a 'franchise' is, is a legal agreement between a dealer & the OEM. Sometimes the OEM offers one to a dealer, sometimes a dealer requests the new brand. It's not a big deal. And with the vast majority of dealers selling mercedes passenger vehicles also selling mercedes-branded work vans, that much is obvious.
    • Lincoln sales volume in China: https://carsalesbase.com/china-lincoln/ And Audi sales in China: https://carsalesbase.com/china-audi/ That is Audi outselling Lincoln by over 16 to 1 in China last year, and Audi is on pace for 750,000 sales this year.  "World Class" doesn't get outsold 16 to 1 in the largest car market in the world and not even participate in the EU.  
    • They have to have a franchise agreement to sell vans, just as there were franchise agreements for Sprinter, Smart and Maybach.   https://static1.squarespace.com/static/50749503e4b0fa0ffd4b65f5/t/56142bd2e4b0e26258e39c6c/1444162514216/BrandStandards_08.20.15.pdf Notice there are Passenger Car AND Light Truck Franchise AgreementS.  Obviously 289 dealers got both franchises, some did not.  Just like some Mercedes dealers has Smart franchises while others did not.  In fact in Pittsburgh  Bobby Rahal owns 2 Mercedes dealers, only 1 of them had the Smart brand.  
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