VW new Passat CC

The new CC, which will be officially unveiled at the LA Auto Show on November 16, may look very familiar and by all accounts it is, minus a few noticeable changes. Since its launch over 270,000 people across the world have been won over by its predecessor the Passat CC’s blend of four-door practicality and sleek coupé-like styling has proved very popular.

Tweaks to design are something VW do very well and the new CC is no exception, to at the front the new radiator grille has strong horizontal lines that represent Volkswagen’s new design DNA, flanked by new bi-xenon headlights and topped with a reprofiled bonnet. The bumper is different too, with a new extra air intake, and silver-coloured ‘winglets’ that frame the fog lights. Along the side, the frameless doors are carried over from the previous model, but more sculpted sills, revised bumpers and the new bonnet add up to create a subtly updated silhouette.

At the rear the bumper has also been completely redesigned, with more emphasis on horizontal lines and a reworking of the characteristic chrome strip. The tail lights are new as well, not just in their more dramatic design, but in their use of LEDs. As before, the Volkswagen logo doubles as the handle for the boot, and it can now optionally contain a rear-view camera.

However one noticeable difference to the rear stands out above the others… ‘Passat’ has been dropped from the name.

While the name may have changed, a comprehensive list of standard equipment remains and expands to include features such as the standard driver alert system, as found on the Passat, and front head restraints with four-way adjustment to reduce the risk of whiplash. New options include High Beam Assist, which automatically controls dipping of the headlights; Side Assist, which monitors the vehicle’s blind spot; Lane Assist and adaptive cruise control with City Emergency Braking function; front climate seats with massage function; and an electrically deployed towbar.

From launch, the UK engine range will comprise 1.8-litre TSI 160 PS or 2.0-litre TSI 210 PS petrols and a 2.0-litre TDI common rail diesel with either 140 or 170 PS. All models with 170 PS or more also now get a standard XDS differential, an electronic cross-axle traction control system for improved traction and handling.

The CC makes its LA Auto Show debut before going on sale in the US in early 2012. Retailers in the UK will start taking orders for the new car around the same time with first deliveries due in March. More details including pricing will be available nearer the launch date.