|Approximately a year and a half after the Volkswagen-DRB-Hicom pact was made, the first domestically-assembled Volkswagen – a VW Passat – has now rolled off the Pekan Automotive complex in the state of Pahang. Aside from the Passat, VW variants such as the Polo sedan and Jetta were also announced as upcoming CKD variants for the Malaysian market. Of course, rumors about Proton utilizing the Polo sedan platform has been squashed altogether by the people at DRB-Hicom.|
So what differs the recently introduced CBU Volkswagen Passat from the CKD version…well, for starters; the only markedly difference is the pricing. The CBU Passat is priced from RM184,888 while the locally-assembled one is RM170,888. Similarities in terms of specifications and quality standards are preserved by the Wolfsburg-based marque from Deutschland (Germany).
The CBU Passat launched in October last year was tagged “The People’s Premium Sedan is German” as the car depicted a premium executive class. Based on the similarities, the CKD version carries a recognizable grille as a major highlight to the car’s front fascia. The upper front grille comes in chrome finish, while further chrome elements are observed for the double foglights’ lines and below the bottom grille. Bi-Xenon headlights with dynamic bending and LED imbued inside make the car unique, either in daylight or at night. Looking at the sides, the 17-inch wheels, obvious shoulder lines and feeder contours exude a sense of elegance and an overall premium character. At the rear, the LED combination lights, chrome lines and double exhaust are some of the major highlights.
Unless otherwise noted to differ, the CKD Passat also takes up these features: automatic headlight activation, ‘Leaving Home’ and manual ‘Coming Home’ function, adjustable electrical exterior mirrors, automatically-heated washer nozzles for the windscreen, and rain sensor.
Inside this executive variant, there is a multitude of features and equipment. At the forefront are Volkswagen’s innovations such as the Climatronic air-conditioning system, comfort start function ‘Press and Drive’, electric seats, MEDIA-IN and AUX-IN with USB adapter cable, connected to a multi-function display ‘Plus’ and RCD 510 touch screen audio system. Additionally, 3-spoke multi-function leather-wrapped steering wheel and aluminium-brushed center console are included, unless otherwise noted to differ. Other driving conveniences included; the cruise control, electric parking brake with auto-hold function and hill-hold control, height and reach adjustable steering wheel, park distance control (PDC) with warning signals for obstacles in the front and rear, a tyre pressure monitoring system, split folding backrests with centre armrest, remote unlocking for the luggage compartment and front centre armrest with storage box. Not forgetting the rear passengers, there are air vents, cup holders and plush leather upholstery for overall comfort.
The CKD Passat is equipped with a 1.8l turbocharged direct petrol injection 4-cylinder engine mated to a 7-speed DSG transmission, delivering 160PS and 250Nm of torque with top speed, 0 – 100 km/h and fuel ratings at 220 km/h, 8.5 secs and 7l per 100km respectively. The technology input of TSI and DSG basically translate to better performance and smoother gear changes, as well as more of that fun-to-drive factor and lesser fuel consumption.
The car’s passive and active safety equipment list comprise: 3-point seat belts for front with height adjustment and seat belt tensioners, 6 airbags, electronic differential lock (EDL), electronic stability control (ESP), counter steering assistance, electronic vehicle immobilization device, ABS with brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and engine drag torque control (EDTC). Again, unless noted otherwise for the local-spec Passat.
The CKD Passat is available at the 18 Volkswagen dealerships nationwide. For those who have not noticed, Volkswagen Malaysia’s tagline Das Auto (The Car) encompasses anything and everything about a car. For Volkswagen, a car is more than just a car and is an embodiment of German engineering, innovation, technological superiority and is environmentally friendly.
Dr Christof Spathelf, Senior Vice President, Group Manufacturing Overseas of Volkswagen AG, revealed, “The Asean region and especially Malaysia, was an integral and important part of Volkswagens global strategy. Malaysia is known for its strong and stable growth path, dynamic industry and strong progress in key industries as in the automotive industry. This is an excellent business environment. Volkswagen as a global player wants to build on these strengths and become a reliable business partner.”
“We will increase the number of models being produced here. We will expand the plant facilities. And we will take responsibility for the community and the country as well,” he added.
Amongst the major Volkswagen, DRB-Hicom and Malaysian Government dignitaries present at the Passat’s debut were; Dr Christof Spathelf of Volkswagen AG; Weiming Soh, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen in China and Head of Commercial Operations China/Asean; Dato’ Sri Diraja Haji Adnan bin Yaakob, Menteri Besar of Pahang; Dato’ Syed Mohamad Syed Murtaza, Chairman of DRB-HICOM; Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil, Group Managing Director of DRB-HICOM; and Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak.