When the 2012 Volkswagen Passat debuted in America, there was uproar from enthusiasts over the bland styling. Instead of sharing the European Passat with the rest of the world, we got our own Passat specifically designed for American tastes. Americans seem to prefer vanilla to all other flavors and we also buy a heck of a lot of Toyota Camrys, so it wasn’t surprising when Passat sales shot through the roof this year. After all, enthusiasts could still buy the CC if they wanted a more exciting design.
Now we have the 2013 Volkswagen CC with almost identical sheetmetal to the old CC but the rather bland front and rear fascias from the U.S. Passat sedan. The effect is similar to seeing a supermodel wearing an oversized shirt and sweatpants – you can see the curves, but they aren’t showcased very well. The car looks a little more elegant in person, but it’s not as striking as the original.
Mechanically the 2013 CC doesn’t differ from its predecessor. There’s VW’s venerable 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 producing 200 hp, which is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual or six-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. High-end CC models will continue to use the 3.2-liter VR6 engine that sends 280 hp to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.
We’ll be watching the sales charts for the next year to see how Volkswagen’s more Americanized CC sells. Right now it’s hard to imagine a sales increase for a more pedestrian-looking car that’s generally purchased for its looks.
For more on the 2013 Volkswagen Passat CC, check out our First Look article. For more on the 2011 Los Angeles Show, including videos, the latest photos, and more information, click here to visit our L.A. Show homepage.