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Another car manufacturer has developed a model specially for the Chinese market. Introducing the Volkswagen Magotan. Despite sounding like a strange hybrid fusion between a Mango and a Rambutan, Volkswagen’s joint venture in China – FAW-Volkswagen – this is actually a Passat specially developed for the Chinese market.

Static torsional stiffness is up 57% over the standard Chinese Passat sold by Shanghai-Volkswagen (not FAW-Volkswagen), which is actually a long wheel base VW/Audi B5 platform car, as opposed to the this Magotan Passat’s PQ46 platform. The trunk is gigantic – 565 litres! The suspension consists of a MacPherson strut front as well as a four-link trapezoidal system for the rear. The Volkswagen Magotan is also the first sedan of it’s class in China to have an electronic parking brake, simply press a button to activate the brake, saving space in the car that would have otherwised been used for the mechanical connections.

There is also a Keyless entry start and exit system, which lets you enter the car as long as the transmitter is in your pocket – turning on the engine also works the same way with a push start button.

The press kit for the Magotan made me realise something about the mentality of FAW-Volkswagen though, but I am not sure if it’s the Germans or the Chinese who were responsible for this. The photos in the press kit show a normal Volkswagen Passat, but the Passat logos and German numberplate were erased, and new Magotan logo and Chinese numberplates pasted on. Don’t tell me you have to cut costs to the extent that you can’t re-do a photoshoot of the proper car?!

This is the exact reason why I will not try Chinese-made cars for the time being… who knows where else they have slashed on costs? But anyway, more photos after the jump, though if you’ve seen press photos of the Volkswagen Passat you really don’t have to bother. Same thing.

[UPDATE: Added video.]

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Video: Volkswagen Magotan