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The Volkswagen Passat ( listen (help·info)) is a large family sedan produced by the German manufacturerVolkswagen since 1973, through eight design generations. It is positioned between the Volkswagen Golf (Jetta) and the Volkswagen Phaeton in the current Volkswagen line-up and its derivatives have been badged variously as theDasher, Santana, Quantum, Magotan, Corsar and Carat. The successive generations of the Passat carry the Volkswagen internal designations B1, B2, etc. which originally ran concurrently with those of the Audi 80 and A4with which the Passat has shared its engineering platform at certain model generations, although this link has now been severed.
In 2008, Volkswagen extended its range with the launch of the Passat CC, a “four-door coupé” version of the Passat.
Volkswagen currently markets two variants of the Passat globally. In January 2011, Volkswagen announced that the new mid-size sedan (NMS) being built at the Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant for the North American market would be named the Passat. Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive also manufactures the Passat NMS in its Nanjing factory. The NMS is sold in the North American, South Korean, Chinese, and Middle Eastern markets. The Volkswagen Passat NMS won the 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year. A new Passat model entered production in Europe in 2014, based on the MQB platform.
Following the Volkswagen Group‘s acquisition of Auto Union in 1964 and NSU in 1969 (both these entities combined to form the modern-day Audi company), Volkswagen used the newly acquired engineering expertise to develop a modern front-wheel drive car with a water-cooled engine, and thus the Passat and Golf (the latter being introduced in 1974) were the first of a new generation of Volkswagen cars. The first two (as well as the fifth) generations of Passat were developed from the Audi 80/Fox/A4 platform using Audi’s trademark longitudinal powertrain layout, however all remaining generations (including the latest) have used a Volkswagen specific, Golf-derived transverse engined layout.
During its development phase, the Passat was designated internally as EA400 (Entwicklungsauftrag 400, or “Development Order 400”), and well before its launch, production of the Volkswagen Type 3 at the Wolfsburg plant had been stopped to free up capacity for the new car. Wolfsburg was able to ramp up production carefully: directly before Passat production started the lines were used to assemble small volumes of the car’s Audi 80 sibling which had been launched a year earlier.