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    Volkswagen Passat

    VGM (Volkswagen Group Malaysia) has launched the Jetta, Passat and Cross Touran in Malaysia this week.The Jetta sedan, which priced at RM149,888 (on the road, without insurance), is powered by a 1.4 TSI twin-charged engine, offering 160 PS at 5,800 rpm and 240 Nm from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm, mated to a seven-speed DSG tranny.For the Passat, the 1.8 TSI-equipped D segment is priced at RM184,888, and has 160 PS at 5,000 to 6,200 rpm and 250 Nm from 1,500 to 4,200 rpm for output numbers mated with a seven-speed DSG box.While for the Cross Touran, it is priced at RM166,888. It’s also equipped with a powered by a 1.4 TSI twin-charged engine, but offering 140 PS and 220 Nm.All three models arrive in CBU form. Read the full news from Motortrader below.


    Volkswagen makes no secret of its goal to be the top carmaker before the end of the decade and it is stepping up activities in the big markets of China and India to achieve that goal. Major investments are being made in many regions and even where volumes are presently not very big, aggressive efforts are being made to boost the numbers.

    ASEAN is one of the regions which has long been identified as a having a lot of potential which could make a meaningful contribution to sales.

    The springboard from which the company wanted to enter ASEAN was Malaysia and it wanted to do so as far back as 2005. It was even prepared to collaborate with Proton in what was potentially a ‘win-win-win‘venture for the German carmaker, Proton and also Malaysia. So committed was VW that it patiently accepted the ‘Malaysian way’ of doing business whereby decisions kept flip-flopping, rumours were spread in the press which put Proton share prices on a roller-coaster (and some people must have become very rich) and after being told ‘it’s off’, agreeing to come back and talk again. Some five years were wasted because in the end, literally at the 11th hour when the deal was supposed to be signed, VW was told it was off.

    So much time wasted but once it realized it had to proceed alone, VW started to crank up its marketing machine and models were introduced one after another within a short time-frame. A plan was made to assemble some models locally since that’s how the ‘game’ has to be played here if you want to achieve big numbers. In 2010, a number of new models appeared in showrooms, growing the sales volume substantially and this year, the momentum has continued. It could be that VW’s rise has upset certain parties and unethical moves have been made to try to slow it down.

    This week, the company’s subsidiary, Volkswagen Group Malaysia (VGM), launches another three new models, of which two give a preview to what Malaysians can expect soon as locally-assembled models from the DRB-HICOM plant in Pekan, Pahang. The three models are the Passat, Jetta and Cross Touran, the first two being confirmed as the models that will be assembled here in future.

    Speaking at the introduction of the models in Penang last night, Ricky Tay, VGM’s Managing Director, said that the new models will enable VW to enter new segments in the Malaysian market. And as a premium brand, these models are positioned at the top of their respective segments.

    The Passat and Cross Touran are imported from factories in Germany while the Jetta comes from Mexico where VW’s factory has been made the global source for the model (as well as the Beetle). Other models in its line-up come from different parts of the world – Slovakia, Spain and South Africa – reflecting the global nature of the company’s operations.

    The Jetta and Passat are both 3-box sedans, the sort of shape that Malaysians usually prefer. Both have recognizable VW styling cues and distinctive LED running lights that can be seen from a great distance away. Standing alone, it’s hard to gauge their actual size as the proportions are well balanced but the Jetta is essentially in the same class as the Toyota Corolla Altis and Honda Civic, while the Passat is a challenger in the Honda Accord/Toyota Camry segment.

    As for the Cross Touran, this is a MPV and the ‘Cross’ refers to its more sporty exterior appearance which adds character to the one-box design. With such looks, it has appealed to younger buyers with families and provides versatility that extends to some 500 cabin configurations (and that’s not a typing error!). The ground clearance is also higher and larger wheels have been fitted at the rear for better stability.

    The Jetta and Cross Touran have TSI engines which have both a supercharger and turbocharger to boost output significantly. The TSI engines are amazing in that they have small displacements of just 1.4 litres so there is high performance and yet fuel consumption can be low – provided the driver can resist flooring the pedal all the time!

    The idea of using both devices to force more air into the engine is not new (a production model from another company had such an engine in the 1980s) but VW engineers have refined the concept to ensure it is reliable and efficient.
    There are various states of tune for the TSI engines and the Jetta gets the more powerful state which generates 160 ps and 240 Nm, while the Cross Touran has the 140 ps/220 Nm version. Both models use the highly-praised 7-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) which is a major innovation in transmission design and technology.

    As for the Passat, this is powered by a proven 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine which produces 160 ps. Maximum torque of 250 Nm is available from 1500 rpm so the driver can get strong acceleration from low speeds, allowing easy acceleration in just about any situation.
    Equipment levels of all the models can be said to be generous and comprehensive, commensurate with the pricetags. The safety features are very high as this is an area VW doesn’t compromise on.

    Whether the locally-assembled versions of the Jetta and Passat will be the same is something that remains to be seen. Mr. Tay would only say that the final specifications would be the result of customer feedback on what their requirements are. As to whether the company would continue to import the same models after the locally-assembled versions are in the showrooms next year, he said that was possible but they might be other variants.

    Passat : RM184,888 | Jetta: RM149,888 | Cross Touran: RM166,888

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