A new five-seat SUV will join the Passat and Atlas on the assembly lines in Tennessee.
Earlier this year, because of the low customer demand, Volkswagen temporarily stopped the production of the U.S.-spec Passat at its Chattanooga plant. Despite that, the German automaker has just announced it has assembled the 700,000th Passat at the same plant in Tennessee.
The milestone vehicle is a Reflex Silver 2018 Passat GT with two-tone interior and a 3.6-liter V6 engine under the hood, generating 280 horsepower (209 kilowatts) and 258 pound-feet (350 Newton-meters) of torque, and mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. The car also features 19-inch wheels, GTI-inspired red exterior accents, and a sport suspension.
“The history of Volkswagen Chattanooga is intertwined with the history of the U.S. Passat,” Antonio Pinto, President and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga, commented. “As we grow and add models, we take pride in continuing to produce quality Passats in the state of Tennessee. I am very proud of our team for reaching this important milestone and look forward to more to come.”
In addition to the Passat, Volkswagen is also manufacturing its Atlas seven-seat SUV at the same plant. They will be joined on the assembly lines by another MQB-based SUV soon – a five-seat SUV, sharing its underpinnings with the Atlas.
Speaking of the MQB, the U.S. Passat is expected to finally move to the clever modular architecture next year, when a brand new generation of the sedan will be revealed. It should bring improved interior and boot space, thanks to a more advanced packaging, and lower overall weight.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen is preparing a facelift for the European version of the model, which is already based on the MQB platform. The D-segment vehicle (according to the European nomenclature), a market leader in its class on the Old continent, will likely get a slightly revised engine range, consisting of TDI diesel and TSI gasoline turbo motors. It will continue to be offered as a sedan, wagon, crossover-inspired Alltrack wagon, and hybrid.
Gallery: 2018 Volkswagen Passat GT: First Drive
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (8 May 2018) — Volkswagen Chattanooga today announced that it has achieved a production milestone with the completion of the 700,000th Volkswagen Passat assembled in Chattanooga.
Assembled in the LEED Platinum-certified production facility in Chattanooga Tennessee, the 700,000th Passat is a 2018 Passat GT, finished in Reflex Silver, with two-tone black and grey interior. The limited-edition model uses the 3.6-liter VR6® engine and a 6-speed DSG Tiptronic® dual-clutch automatic transmission.
“The history of Volkswagen Chattanooga is intertwined with the history of the U.S. Passat. As we grow and add models, we take pride in continuing to produce quality Passats in the state of Tennessee,” said Antonio Pinto, President and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “I am very proud of our team for reaching this important milestone and look forward to more to come.”
The 2018 Passat GT was designed by the company’s North American engineering hub in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and its Design Center in California based on extensive feedback from U.S. customers and dealers.
“The Passat GT is an example of how the Volkswagen North American Region is incorporating a local perspective into our global engineering expertise,” said Dr. Matthias Erb, Chief Engineering Officer, and Head of Product Strategy, Volkswagen North American Region. “The collaboration between U.S. engineers and designers allows us to create vehicles that meet the needs and desires of customers here.”
The Passat GT is a true sport sedan. With 280 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, it offers power and luxury-class driving comfort with surprising fuel economy—EPA estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. Unique features include a black roof, 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, a honeycomb grille, GTI-like red accents, and a sport suspension that lowers the car’s stance.
In addition to the Passat, Volkswagen Chattanooga currently assembles the Volkswagen Atlas, a seven-passenger, midsize SUV designed for the American market. In March, Volkswagen also announced that Volkswagen Chattanooga will be the production home of the all-new five-seater SUV, a variant of the seven-passenger Atlas, built on the same award-winning MQB platform.
The 700,000th Volkswagen Passat will be commemorated on Volkswagen Chattanooga’s social media pages, as the assembly of the car was followed from the body shop, to paint shop and to its final stop at the assembly shop.