Last Tease: Volkswagen Dangles NMS Before Detroit Debut

By now, you’ve already seen plenty of cryptic sketches and spy photography of Volkswagen’s New Midsize Sedan. The finished product is expected to be unveiled within days at the 2011 Detroit auto show, but that hasn’t stopped the automaker from showing a tarp-covered example on its consumer web site to drum up excitement.

Arguably, this particular cyber tease shows audiences less of the NMS than previous previews. Prior sketches released by the German automaker suggest its new American-built sedan will bear a close resemblance to the European-spec 2011 Passat, which was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show earlier this year.

VW has shied away from talking firm details on the car thus far, but it is expected to be larger and somewhat cheaper to produce than the last Passat — and, potentially, the new Passat as well. A similar tactic was applied with the new 2011 Jetta in order to bless the car with an amazingly attractive price tag in the United States. Seeing as the midsize sedan segment is increasingly competitive on our shores, we wouldn’t be shocked if VW continued to pursue this strategy.

This speculation is absent from the consumer teaser, but it does address yet another unknown: nomenclature. The headline refers to the car as the “sleeker, roomier, all-new, German-engineered 2012 [blank],” and invites viewers to insert the name once the car is revealed on January 10th. We’ve long heard Volkswagen insist the NMS moniker is simply a working title, but the company hasn’t revealed what nameplate the new car will wear.

Will the NMS carry the storied Passat nameplate into the future, or will VW whip up a new model name — perhaps something alphanumeric — for its new four-door? Tune in to Automobile Magazine on January 10th — the first official press day for the 2011 North American International Auto Show — to find out.