www.freetranslation.com -- and therefore, so can you. So, without further hesitation. . . .
For a guided tour of the Passat W8 go to this URL:
Then drill down to the "Konfigurator" and you will see the German Passat W8. I have talked with a gentleman from the VWGUILD and have read the product announcements over at VWVORTEX.COM. Now that I have cited my sources, I will comment:
I consider the US Passat to be "kindof an Audi" -- an Audi A5 if you will. The current Passat GLX 4motion is a nice car -- it is not an Audi. Yet it is Audi-like. The web sites, my crummy translations and the early reports about the car in US car magazines, elevates the new Passat W8 considerably -- and it is not just because it has 8 cylinders.
What I have seen does not make me think that the Passat W8 is an Audi, but as Marlin Brando said "I coulda been a contender." The W8 will have much higher content (so says VWGUILD) than any Passat prior. It will have 17" wheels, bi-Xenons, ESP -- it will be a quattro, without the name, of course. It will probably max out in the high $30K's.
It supposedly will be aimed at Mercedes, not at BMW. Audi will still be the sport luxury vehicle, this new Passat will be the classic luxury vehicle (whatever that means).
There are pecking orders, corporate image and egos and, most importantly, market positioning that must be addressed -- and a 275 HP W8 "just wouldn't do" when the Audi has 250HP. Just as a VW 1.8T (at 180HP) that has more guts than an Audi -- at 170HP -- probably will only happen one time in a row!
My point was not to say I think the Passat W8 -- personally -- will confuse me, but I do think that there will be sufficient confusion in the marketplace to make the W8 at least for a year or two -- a sell out!
The MSRP of the W8 places it about $10,000 less than an A6 2.7T -- and my Audi dealer told me, right or wrong, horsepower is VERY important. Indeed, he said that the original NEW A6 in 1998 with the 2.8 engine came ONLY to the US with 200HP -- in all other countries it was 193HP -- Audi of America demanded it be so -- for "bragging rights" or market positioning or whatever else you want to call it -- to be perceived in the 200HP league.
Bluntly, to help make sales when the customer was looking, for example, at an Acura which DID have 200HP also (the thinking was a customer would value 200HP more than 193HP, so let's make ours 200HP too!)
Now, with 17" wheels and sticky summer tires and a possible (so I am told) sport suspension tuning -- which the first cars brought to the US did NOT have -- well, the differences may be more difficult to discern in a test drive.