When the Volkswagen Passat CC made its debut in 2008, it was the world's first four-door coupÃ© in the 30,000 to 40,000 dollar and euro class. From this niche, a new segment quickly developed - to date, nearly 270,000 people around the globe have chosen the saloon with the stylish lines of a sports car. They are car drivers who love the charm of a coupÃ© but also value space for at least 4 persons and 4 doors. Now, Volkswagen is presenting a technically and visually updated version of the popular business vehicle at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show. With new front and rear styling, the new Volkswagen CC design makes an even bolder move towards the automotive luxury class. No less is true of its extended range of standard equipment, which now includes such features as bi-xenon headlights with static cornering lights and a new LED rear lighting design. Also standard: fatigue detection, RCD 310 radio-CD system, stainless steel door sill plates and safety head restraints (front seats) with additional front-rear adjustment. In addition, new assistance systems are making their way into the CC. They include optional technologies such as Side Assist Plus including Lane Assist (warns of vehicles in blind spots and supports the driver via steering intervention to avoid an accident), Dynamic Light Assist (automatic main beam control) and a camera-based traffic sign detection system. Meanwhile, the 'climate seat' with integrated massage function optimises comfort.
Market launch - starts in February
Volkswagen will first offer the new CC in February 2012 in Germany, then in stages across Europe, America, Russia, China (local version starting in 2013) and all other sales regions relevant to this vehicle class.
140 PS to 300 PS - efficient and sporty engines
The Volkswagen CC will be powered by innovative petrol and diesel direct-injection engines; all of the diesels (TDI) are equipped with a Stop/Start system and a battery regeneration mode (which recovers braking energy) as standard equipment. All petrol engines also have battery regeneration functionality. The TDI engines output 103 kW / 140 PS and 125 kW / 170 PS. The petrol engines of the European CC versions develop an impressive 118 kW / 160 PS, 155 kW / 210 PS and 220 kW / 300 PS of power. In the USA, the Volkswagen will once again launch with 147 kW / 200 PS (TSI) and 206 kW / 280 PS (FSI) petrol engines. All engines up to 210 PS may be combined with a dual clutch gearbox (DSG) as an option. The European six-cylinder version (300 PS) is delivered with DSG and 4MOTION all-wheel drive as standard equipment. In the case of the 280 PS US-CC that also sports all-wheel drive, a torque converter automatic is used. All engines go to work with excellent efficiency: the 140 PS TDI offered in Europe, for example, together with a manual six-speed gearbox consumes just 4.7 l/100 km (equivalent to 125 g/km CO2); with DSG fuel consumption is 5.3 l/100 km. The 200 PS TSI - a popular engine in America - attains a fuel economy of 21 (City) / 33 mpg (Highway) with manual gearbox and 22 / 31 mpg in the DSG version.
Design - Volkswagen CC shifts segment boundaries
The team led by Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design for the Volkswagen Brand, reworked the front and rear body sections of the Volkswagen CC. This has given the Volkswagen an even more elegant yet dynamic overall image. New alloy wheels and car colours complement other exterior modifications.
Front end. In front, the eye is draw to the new designs of the radiator grille, bi-xenon headlights and bonnet. Optional LED daytime running lights are integrated in the headlight housings. Even more than on the previous model, the entire area of the new front bumper, headlights and radiator grille exhibits clean lines that correspond 1:1 to Volkswagen 'design DNA' styling. This DNA is marked by such characteristics as an emphasis on horizontal lines and a concise harmony of the headlights and radiator grille. The latter is no longer designed as a separate V framed by elements in the body colour, rather it forms a visually continuous, charismatic band together with the headlights. Similar to the US-Passat and the Phaeton, the new Volkswagen CC also has an extra air intake beneath the body-coloured bumper. 'Winglets' are integrated in this intake with fog lights arranged next to them.
Despite its independent design, the front end makes a clear statement that the 'comfort coupÃ©' belongs to a global brand. Consider the radiator grille: with its 3 chrome fins it bears a stylistic resemblance to the US-Passat (produced in Chattanooga, Tennessee) and the Phaeton (produced at 'GlÃ¤serne Manufaktur' - the Transparent Factory - in Dresden). Like the previous model, the Volkswagen CC is also produced at Volkswagen's plant in Emden, Germany; this state-of-the-art factory has direct access to an overseas port from which the four-door coupÃ© can be shipped to all regions of the world within a few days. Back to the car's design:
Side profile. Although the frameless doors of the VW CC are unmodified, its side profile shows a new look too. Several factors are at work here: in front, the more powerful design of the bonnet - in interplay with the new bumper design - sharpens the car's silhouette. Meanwhile, the much more distinctively sculpted side sills between the wheel housings stand out; they make a visual connection between the front and rear bumpers. At the rear, the bumper now has greater volume and transparency; together with the coupÃ©-like styling of the C-pillars and the very long swept-back rear window, this generates a very special dynamic.
Rear section. As at the front of the car, designers also completely redesigned the rear bumper. This involved modifying the wrap-around chrome strip that is typical of the Volkswagen CC and of course the VW logo, which once again serves as the handle for opening the bootlid. In models with Rear Assist, a rear-view camera was integrated in the VW logo as well. The entire rear section now shows more straight-line surfaces and a greater emphasis of horizontal lines. Also fitting with this image is the new design of the rear lights; at their lower ends, the lights now finish with a horizontal sweep. In contrast to the previous model, the new rear lights have LED lighting elements that exhibit very quick response, economy and long life. The distinctive look of these lights makes the CC unmistakable from the rear, even at night. The licence plate is illuminated with LED lighting, too.
Interior - 4 or 5 seats as needed
The standard seating configuration of the Volkswagen CC includes four seating positions. In front, the car always comes with ergonomic sport seats designed for long trips. In the rear, a continuous bench seat (3 seats) is available as an alternative to the standard system with 2 individual seats. The interior exhibits a style that is as dynamic as it is elegant. The dashboard was already modified once last year; since then, the two storage drawers integrated above the centre console in the first generation CC were replaced by an analogue clock in the style of that in the Phaeton. Another new option is a brown interior; this includes the dashboard, which coordinates especially well with the also reconfigured wood accents and colours of the leather seats.
Standard features - uncompromising comfort and safety
Standard Volkswagen CC equipment has always included such features as dual tailpipes, 17-inch alloy wheels with mobility tyres, sport seats, various cupholders, chrome surrounds on switches and air vents, air conditioner, sport chassis, 'Auto-hold' function, hill start assistant, automatic control of running lights with 'Leaving home' and 'Coming home' functions, automatic bootlid opening from the interior, DCC dynamic chassis control (from 125 kW / 170 PS) and, of course, the ESP electronic stabilisation programme and 6 airbags.
This range of features was considerably extended in the new model. Standard exterior features that were added include the already mentioned bi-xenon headlights, static cornering lights, headlight washing system, LED rear lights, LED licence plate illumination and more prominent side sill flares. New interior features that are standard on all models: fatigue detection system, RCD 310 radio-CD system, front head restraints with longitudinal 'X adjustment', stainless steel door sill plates and (in Germany) the multifunction steering wheel. As an option, the driver can now see which rear seat occupants are buckled up without having to look back - via the 'seatbelt status indicator' in the multifunction display of the instrument cluster. For even better dynamic performance and comfort in fast curves there is the XDS transverse differential lock (from 125 kW). Already offered since 2011, and no less innovative, is a fuel-saving free-wheeling mode for all 100, 103 and 125 kW versions with a DSG dual clutch gearbox; it decouples the engine from the transmission during coasting phases, improving fuel economy.
Optional features - systems of the luxury class
The car's exceptional optional features include the lane-changing assistant Side Assist Plus that integrates the Lane Assist lane-keeping assistant; the combination of these two systems now implemented represents a significant functional extension and a gain in safety. Also new in the Volkswagen CC: the sensor-controlled Easy Open system for opening the bootlid by a foot movement behind the vehicle (in conjunction with Keyless Access), Dynamic Light Assist (dynamic main beam control), Park Assist 2.0 (automatic parking assist for parking spaces either perpendicular or parallel to the roadway with 360Â° Optical Parking System [OPS]), ACC (adaptive cruise control with Front Assist surroundings monitoring system and City Emergency Braking), DCC (dynamic chassis control), active climate seats (front) with massage function, windscreen (climate comfort window) that is heated without wires and infrared-reflecting as well as noise-insulating side windows made of laminated safety glass. Those wanting to tow a boat or horse trailer will enjoy the electrically deploying towbar that is now available.
Other options available in the new Volkswagen CC include a transparent panoramic sunroof, radio-navigation systems (optionally with integrated camera-based traffic sign detection), sound systems (such as the 'Dynaudio Confidence' with 300 Watts), hands-free telephone units, multimedia interface (MEDIA-IN), garage door opener integrated in the sun visor, ambiance lighting in the door accent panels, 17, 18 or 19-inch alloy wheels, tyre pressure monitoring system (with indicators for each individual wheel), auxiliary heating system and leather options.
Those customers who choose the automatic climate control system will immediately enjoy the benefits of the humidity sensor; this sensor - located near the rear-view mirror inside the car - measures air humidity and regulates the Climatronic system to prevent window condensation and maintain the relative humidity in the passenger compartment at a pleasant level. Another benefit: fuel consumption and emissions are reduced, since the humidity sensor permits operation of the air conditioning compressor only when needed. CO2 emissions are reduced by 1.1 g/km - that might not seem like much by itself, but it becomes significant together with numerous other fuel-saving measures.
Side Assist Plus
The CC is the first Volkswagen in which the lane-changing assistant Side Assist Plus is being offered as a pack together with the lane-keeping assistant Lane Assist. Compared to the individual systems, Side Assist and Lane Assist, the combination of these two systems represents a functional extension and - due to its reliable and urgent warning in case of a specific hazard - a gain in safety.
Here is how the two assistance systems operate as separate systems: Side Assist makes the driver aware of vehicles located in the blind spot next to the Volkswagen CC or vehicles quickly approaching from the rear by flashing LEDs in the door mirrors. Side Assist operates with radar sensors. Meanwhile, Lane Assist accesses the signals from a camera; as soon as it becomes evident that the driver is leaving the driving lane or is driving over the driving lane markings without setting the direction indicator, Lane Assist countersteers.
Here is how the new system duo operates: Side Assist Plus including Lane Assist merges the two assistance systems. If another vehicle is located in the blind spot during a lane change, the dual assistance system pack warns the CC driver via a flashing signal of the LEDs in the right or left door mirrors as well as via a steering wheel vibration, and it simultaneously assists the driver with a corrective steering intervention. These steps are taken regardless of whether or not a direction indicator is set. The combination of these two systems can make an even more effective contribution towards avoiding collisions with other vehicles in the blind spot. However, the driver still assumes responsibility for the entire process.
This system detects waning driver concentration and warns the driver with an acoustic signal lasting five seconds; a visual message also appears in the instrument cluster recommending that the driver take a break from driving. If the driver does not take a break within the next 15 minutes, the warning is repeated once. Right at the beginning of each car trip, the system analyses the driver's characteristic steering behaviour. Underway, the fatigue detection system then continually evaluates signals such as steering angle. If monitored parameters indicate a deviation from the steering behaviour recorded at the beginning of the trip, then visual and acoustic warnings are produced. Independent of this monitoring, whenever the system is activated it recommends a driving break to the driver after four hours of continuous driving.
Traffic sign detection: This system detects speed limit signs and no-passing zones via camera, and up to three of these signs are shown on the instrument cluster display in front of the driver as well as in the navigation system display. The screen output shows all additional signage text (e.g. '10 pm - 6 am' or 'When wet'), and it is presented in a logical order. The immediately relevant traffic sign (e.g. '130' km/h) is always shown in the first position, while signs that are only conditionally valid (e.g. '80' km/h 'when wet') are shown in a secondary position. Another highlight: If the rain sensor detects that it has started to rain, the now relevant traffic sign with the added text 'when wet' is shifted to first position. The system also acquires no-passing signs and municipality entrance and exit signs, and it calls the driver's attention to country-specific maximum allowable speeds in cities.
Dynamic Light Assist
Dynamic Light Assist makes manual headlight switching between dipped and main beam a thing of the past. At speeds over 65 km/h the main beam is automatically activated, and it remains permanently active. Here is how it works: in conjunction with the camera integrated behind the front windscreen, the main beam light modules of the optional top version of the bi-xenon headlights (includes LED daytime running lights and AFS) are individually dipped in specific areas in which the system has analysed potential glare to other vehicles in traffic. A masking aperture between the reflector with the mercury-free DS3 xenon filament and the lens makes this function possible. Along with intelligent, lateral swivelling of the entire module (via the cornering light function) and independent control of the left and right headlights, this additional aperture geometry is able to mask the light source. This prevents light glare to oncoming traffic or vehicles driving ahead.
For models whose standard equipment includes bi-xenon headlights but not dynamic cornering lights, a simpler variant of automatic main beam control is available: Light Assist. This main beam assistant is also a camera-based system that analyses the light sources actually occurring in traffic and - based on its knowledge of a wide variety of traffic situations - it outputs a dipped beam or main beam command. The main beam is automatically activated or deactivated from speeds of 60 km/h; this system also offers considerable convenience and safety benefits.
XDS transverse differential lock
The XDS electronic transverse differential lock improves traction in curves. Technically, XDS is a functional extension of the electronic differential lock (EDS) that is integrated in the ESP system. As soon as the electronics detect that the driven front wheel on the inside of the curve unloads too much, the ESP hydraulics builds up brake pressure specifically at this wheel to restore optimal traction. In this way, XDS acts as a transverse differential lock that compensates for understeering in fast driving through curves. XDS makes driving behaviour noticeably more precise and neutral, and the car's handling feels more like that of a vehicle with all-wheel drive instead of front-wheel drive. It improves driving stability and driving fun, because it reduces understeering.
Park Assist, Generation II
In contrast to first generation systems, which only supported parking parallel to the carriageway, the latest parking assistant also assists in perpendicular parking - i.e. at right angles to the driving lane. The system is activated at speeds up to 40 km/h by pressing a button on the centre console. The driver indicates the side of the street for parking by activating the direction indicator for that side. As soon as Park Assist detects a sufficiently large parking space - utilising its ultrasonic sensors - assisted parking can begin: The driver engages reverse gear and then only needs to accelerate and brake. The Volkswagen CC handles the steering. The driver is assisted by acoustic and visual cues on the multifunction display. While parking, Park Assist reduces vehicle speed to 7 km/h. For the first time, this system can also actively brake the car if a collision is about to occur. Nonetheless, the driver remains responsible for braking, since the new braking function of Park Assist cannot guarantee that damage will be prevented in all cases. In addition, a 360Â° Optical Parking System (OPS) simplifies manoeuvring. OPS shows the vehicle in the colour display of the relevant radio and radio-navigation systems in a bird's eye perspective. Yellow and red signals on the display make it easier for the driver to recognise whether the CC is maintaining sufficient distance to obstacles at the front and rear. An acoustic warning is produced at the same time.
If the new Volkswagen CC is equipped with Keyless Access (automatic locking and starting system), a specific foot motion behind the vehicle is all that is needed to open access to the boot. The human-machine interface here is a proximity sensor in the bumper area, which recognises a kick-like leg motion. Of course, the boot only opens for someone carrying the proper remote key for the CC.
Another innovation in the Volkswagen CC is its swivelling towbar. It is electrically unlatched by pressing a button integrated in the side trim of the boot. This causes the towbar to travel out from its rest position, and then it is easy to swing it into its operating position with a press of the foot. The towbar is designed for loads up to 2.2 metric tonnes.
Remote unlatching of the rear backrest
No less practical is the new remote unlatching of the rear backrest. Levers located under the rear shelf make it easy to unlatch the left and/or right section of the 1/3 to 2/3 split backrest; then it automatically lowers.
Safety-optimised head restraints with horizontal adjustment: From now on, the front head restraints are not only height-adjustable; they can be adjusted horizontally as well - as a standard feature. In this new design, the outer part of the head restraint can be pulled forward. Because it rests closer to the head, it reduces the risk of whiplash in case of an accident.