The new, top-of-the-line Volkswagen Passat CC will get a gutsy 300bhp 3.6-litre V6 engine and four-wheel drive when it goes on sale in the UK in September. The most expensive version of the new saloon-cum-coupe, launched today at the Detroit motor show’s first press day, will be capable of 0-62mph acceleration in a rapid 5.6sec and a top speed of 155mph. VW's first pictures of it are in our gallery.Conceived as part of an image-boosting niche model offensive from which also sprung the Tiguan and the upcoming Scirocco, the four-door Passat CC should plug the gap that presently exists between the VW Passat and the larger, recently facelifted Phaeton saloon. Prices for the car are yet to be revealed, though prospective customers can bank on a premium of at least £2000 over an existing, like-for-like Passat, with base variants of the CC likely to be pitched at around £18,000, according to Volkswagen sources.
Bigger on the outside, smaller on the inside
Based on the same PQ46-designated platform you'll find beneath standard versions of the Passat, the new VW Passat CC gets its own unique styling aimed at providing the four-door with a contemporary, sporting appearance much in the mould of Mercedes-Benz’s successful CLS.Penned by former Volkswagen design boss Murat Gunak, the exterior is distinguished by distinctive new lamps, heavily raked screens, shallow side glass, a coupe-like curvature to the roof, short rear door apertures and a notchback style boot housing a generous 535-litres of luggage space.At 4796mm in length, 1856mm in width and 1420mm in height, the Passat CC is 31mm longer and 36mm wider than a regular Passat, but a significant 50mm lower. The stance is also enhanced by a 11mm and 16mm increase in the front and rear tracks and a lower ride height than its more practical sibling, which itself is due to soldier on for another year before being facelifted.Inside the new car there’s an enhanced version of the standard Passat’s familiar interior, featuring an upgraded dashboard with higher grade materials and new three-spoke steering wheel. Heavily contoured sports seats provide the accommodation up front, and a lowered rear bench that’s split by an arm rest and stowage box serves individual seating for two in the rear.
Five engines, two gearboxes, front- or four-wheel drive
Alongside the headline-making 3.6-litre V6 with 300bhp, the VW Passat CC will come with the choice of four other engines. They include turbocharged 1.8- and 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct injection petrol units delivering 160bhp and 200bhp respectively, as well as a pair of 2.0-litre four-cylinder commonrail diesels with 140bhp and 170bhp.As with the standard Passat, buyers will get front-wheel drive on cheaper models and the option of four-wheel drive on more upmarket variants. Gearbox choices include a standard six-speed manual or Volkswagen’s six-speed DSG (dual shift gearbox) with steering wheel mounted paddles.Safety kit includes six airbags and run flat tyres as standard, although Volkswagen will sell the CC with a host of high-priced options, including a new Lane Assist system capable of assisting with a corrective steering intervention to keep the car in its lane, and a radar-controlled cruise control called Automatic Distance Control.Other extras include a system that goes under the name Dynamic Drive Control and provides three levels of damping stiffness along with two different levels of assistance for the steering. Buyers will also be able to option the CC with Volkswagen’s Park Pilot system that uses radar to automatically parallel park the car at the press of a button.