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While the last mk5 Passat wasn't offered with a TDI engine in North America, the new mk6 VW Passat TDI will be for 2012 with an all new body style. However, the car which was formerly called the NMS is NOT the rest of world Passat. While it looks like the Volkswagen Passat sold in Europe and Asia, it's not the same car. For one thing, it's built in Chattanooga Tennessee expressly for North America. Building it locally save shipping cost and production and the state gave a generous tax package to VW for locating their plant there which will benefit their economy long term.

So what's the difference between the European Passat and the North American Passat TDI? I'll start building up a list of differences, in the mean time, check out the world exclusive scoop on the 2012 VW Passat TDI in this post with specs on the North American car.

http://www.myturbodiesel.com/forum/f9/breaking-news-new-nms-will-still-2012-vw-passat-tdi-specs-5138/

So far, some of the most obvious things include a black-white instrument cluster display instead of color and lack of electric parking brake (good).

EDIT: here is a direct link to the buying guide summary: http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/b7/2012-vw-passat-tdi-forum-buying-guide.htm
 

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I worked through the trims and made a list of differences. http://www.myturbodiesel.com/forum/f19/differences-between-2012-vw-passat-us-vs-europe-euro-trim-car-5142/

This thread is a wish list for things on the North American car so it's in a different topic. Some things I would have liked to see: front ventilated seats with massage function.

As mentioned above, a color multifunction instrument cluster display - how much cost could that have really added? However, it doesn't change the functionality very much. What would have been nice is the widescreen display like in the Touareg or Audi A6, A8 which stretches from gauge pod to gauge pod. The VW Passat display is no different from a Golf or Sportwagen - it's a black/white rectangle.

HID headlights - the press car had halogens. In Europe you can also get HID foglights and LED taillights. I'm glad there is no rear foglight because most people leave them on during clear weather and it blinds you. Great for tailgaters though...oh wait...I don't tailgate though!

Sport package with TDI engine. This may be optional but at this point it's unknown.
 

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While I haven't looked elsewhere, I have been anticipating the new Passat reveal. So thanks, Chitty, for posting the info here! i'm not unhappy with the styling, but I'll save comments on that untill I see one in person.

My wishlist:

- 2.0T engine. I actually like 2.5L 5 cyl, despite the car mags' consistent and inexplicable disdane for it. It's smooth, really torquey, and sounds way more interesting (and expensive) than 4 cylinder engines of similar size and power. I can see, sorta, why VW decided against the 2.0T engine in base models. Premium gas and synthetic oil changes (or else) probably turned away a few potential customers cross-shopping other midsize sedans. But putting the 2.5 in what will probably be a 3500+ lb. sedan will make the base drivetrain package thoroughly ordinary, especially when the new generation of direct injection 4 cylinders in some competing cars are making 180-200 HP, buzzy Di 4 cyl engine sounds notwithstanding. And that's exactly the problem I have with VW these days. By attempting to appeal to a wider audience and catch more Toyota/Honda/Hyunda cross-shoppers, they're taking away what made VWs desireable. That desirablility is what has kept them viable on the American market; people want them, so they accept the slight price premium, maintenance cost, and sometimes questionable reliability for the pleasure of driving something tangibly better than more popular cars. The new generation of VWs had better be rock-solid reliable and cheap to own because they're loosing a lot of that desireablility.

-More TDI power. The 140 HP tdi is gutsy in my Golf, but have doubts that it'll be adequate in the heavier Passat. TDI engines will always be a niche option, but if VW really wanted to popularize the advantages of diesel power, they'd put an even gutsier TDI in the Passat. The 3 liter would probably be overkill, and expensive, but is there any reason why the 170HP version doesn't make over to the US?

-Multilink rear suspension. No word yet on whether the Passat will have the twist-beam rear suspension of the Jetta or a multilink, but I hope it's not the twist beam. A few cars have well-sorted twist beam rear suspensions, but so far, there doesn't seem to be any way of getting around the impact harshness and squirmy handling of a twist beam. Not that most would notice or care.
 

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-More TDI power. The 140 HP tdi is gutsy in my Golf, but have doubts that it'll be adequate in the heavier Passat. TDI engines will always be a niche option, but if VW really wanted to popularize the advantages of diesel power, they'd put an even gutsier TDI in the Passat. The 3 liter would probably be overkill, and expensive, but is there any reason why the 170HP version doesn't make over to the US?
I would love the smaller TDI that they have in Europe offered here for the Golf. I would take an average 50 mpg over stop light racing power any day.
 
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