Many automotive producers are putting all their eggs in one design basket these days and Volkswagen Group is the strongest example of this “all for one and one for all” styling pathway. This infusion of visual similarity comes from the company’s Head of Design, Walter de’Silva, and the brand that leads the offensive is Volkswagen itself, which has spread its new visual identity to every model in its current range.
However, VW’s new family face, which emphasizes horizontal lines, does have its subcategories, with the comprehensive facelift received by the Passat bringing it into the “head office” one, which is shared with the (also heavily revamped) Phaeton. Oversaw by de’Silva, Klaus Bischoff, who leads VW’s design department, re-penned all the exterior areas of the Passat, except for the roof.
Like we said before, the Passat has become more of itself: these changes can bee seen as an evolved version of the exterior refresh scheme used for making the transition from the late 80s B3 to the early 90s B4 Passat. Back then, VW also redesigned the exterior, with the exception of the roof and the glasshouse, trying to present the car as an “all-new” rather than a facelifted one.
For the upper section of the Passat B7’s front end, the changes have brought a radiator grille with four chromed stripes, while the headlights’ overall shape now follows the line of the grille. Moving to the lower front fascia, we can see how the prominent chin used by more “volks”-orientated models, such as the Polo and Jetta, has been toned down. The lower line still dominates the area, but it is more subtle. Our test vehicle used the range-topping Highline equipment level, which brought an additional splash of chrome around the fog lights, with a thin line connecting them.
So, the Passat has ditched its oversized chrome mask, replacing it with the aforementioned elements, which create the impression that the car is wider. The car has actually kept its width (1,820mm/71.6 inches) and height (1,474mm/58 inches), gaining 4 mm (0.16 inches) in length.
We’ll run quickly past the side of the car, only mentioning that the new mirrors come with a dynamic design, integrating sleek turn signals. As ve’ve made one or two steps, we’ve almost reached the rear of the vehicle and we can now see the mirrors’ reflective surfaces. We wonder how that cool design translates into visibility, but we’ll answer that question in the "interior" chapter. One more step and we can now tell you that the design of the rear end is modern, fair and comes with well-placed elements, but doesn’t quite have a personality of its own. Hmm, this description could be extended to other areas of the car...
The design had to be kept inside the box, but a significant amount of work has gone into it, so the revamped Passat can be used as a business apparel. Consider this as being situated closer to Sergio Marchionne’s sweaters rather than to Stephan Winkelmann’s tailor-made suits.Continue reading
Hold on, Sir May B. Bach would like to say something...
As I was saying, take that compression-ignition engine away. What happened to that... ahem... W8 that used to occupy the engine bay? Its presence would justify mine. And why is the Alcantara only present on the seats? The dashboard the headliner, the... ahem... luggage compartment are screaming for such a finish, can’t you see?
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