Ever wish you could bring the palpation-inducing bass, disorienting mids, and ear-rupturing highs of a concert with you whenever you drive? That your ears would still be ringing the morning after cruising home from the grocery store? That's the idea behind the Fender premium car audio system, which will be taking center stage in Volkswagen's new sub-$20k Passat -- which, by the way, is built at a new plant in Chattanooga, TN. The in-car audio system is the result of a partnership with Panasonic that was announced way back in 2007. VW hasn't quite fully unveiled the car in the flesh to the world yet (that's coming tomorrow), but it did see fit to host an event teasing the car, issuing a press release that states the system will "bring the raw emotion of live music to the driving experience." We've tried to capture that experience in the video below, which makes us very excited for the company's latest sedan indeed.
Volkswagen's new PassatSee all photos
Passat / World Premiere / NAIAS / VOLKSWAGEN / 03
The Passat sets new standards for comfort, with a significantly larger rear seating area, bestin-
class rear seat legroom, well-designed controls and superior touring properties.
Other standard features include automatic climate control, power windows all around, air
conditioning, insulating glass, a distinctive analog clock at the center of the instrument
panel, cruise control, outside temperature display with frost warning, radio-CD system
(MP3-capable, plus external audio input) and Bluetooth connectivity.
Premium options include 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels, power seat adjustment, leather,
leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel, a touchscreen satellite radio, a choice of
Volkswagen's RNS 510 or RNS 315 navigation systems, front fog lights with static cornering
lights, wood decor, new ambiance lighting, memory driver's seat, power passenger seat, and
keyless access with push button start.
The Passat will also offer the new Fender premium audio system, designed exclusively for
Volkswagen. In a partnership that combined quality automotive engineering and quality
sound engineering, Volkswagen and Fender teamed up to bring the raw emotion of live
music to the driving experience.
The Passat's balanced proportions give it a unique, timeless and dominant styling reflecting
the "design DNA" developed by Walter de Silva, the Italian design chief for the Volkswagen
Group and Klaus Bischoff, the German design leader for the Volkswagen Brand. The signature
clean design, with a predominance of horizontal body elements, reinforces the Passat's
position as the sophisticated choice in the midsize segment. The bottom line: this car looks
much more expensive than it actually is.
The key identifying feature of a strong brand is the styling of its front end. Here the Passat
displays the new horizontal brand face, with the grille and headlights forming a single unit.
Unlike models in the compact class, the Passat's grille is sculpted in a three-dimensional
shape. Moreover, the grille stands more upright and makes a more distinctive and elegant
impression in its stricter geometry.
From the side profile, the muscular ridge in the sill area creates a lively interplay of light
reflections. Powerfully sculpted wheel arches emphasize the dynamic properties of the
Passat. In the balance of the side profile, the roof lines flow toward the back with a nearly