In a sight that Volkswagen no doubt hopes will soon be a common one, the new Passat CC has been spotted frolicking in the snow sans camouflage, just days after its world introduction in Detroit.

The new premium sedan's "coupe-sedan" styling has sparked obvious comparisons to the Mercedes CLS.  It's unlikely that the Passat CC will go head-to-head with the Mercedes, however.  Underpinnings are shared with the standard Passat, but VW says the luxurious four-passenger interior and sporty driving dynamics will provide a wholly different driving experience.  A three-mode active suspension promises both comfort and athletic abilities.  VW's 1.8, 2.0 and 3.6 liter direct-injection gasoline engines will provide power, worldwide with common-rail turbodiesels offered in Europe.   A seven-speed DSG transmission is also a Europe-only option.

The unclad Passat CC seen here seems to be one of the more basic models.  Uplevel versions will get flagship-like appointments including a panoramic sunroof, lane departure mitigation system, self-sealing tires and a park-assist control.  The Passat CC goes on sale in Europe in the second quarter of 2008, with North American sales beginning in the fourth quarter.  

VW Passat CC First Real Life Photos