Volkswagen Passat facelift, Arteon coming in H2 2019

Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) will be introducing two new models in the second half of 2019. One is the facelifted B8 Volkswagen Passat and the other is the new Volkswagen Arteon, the brand’s flagship model. This was revealed by VPCM management at a media roundtable in KL today.

The Arteon made its first appearance in Malaysia at the Premium Auto Car Expo (PACE) 2018 show in November last year. The spiritual successor to the CC, unveiled at Geneva 2017, sits above the Passat in VW’s sedan hierarchy. The previewed unit was powered by a 2.0 litre TSI engine with 280 PS and 350 Nm, and had 4Motion AWD and a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Volkswagen Passat facelift, Arteon coming in H2 2019

The sleek 4,862 mm four-door – borrowed from Singapore – also had Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), an XDS electronic differential lock and 19-inch “Montevideo” rims. VPCM MD Erik Winter said that they are close to finalising the details and spec for the Malaysian market, and that feedback gained from the preview at PACE 2018 were used in the process. More on the Arteon here.

The other new offering for 2019 is the Volkswagen Passat facelift. Revealed in February this year, the B8 facelift will take over from the current car, which has been sold here as a locally assembled model since late 2016. According to VPCM, the refreshed D-segment sedan will be close to European specs, as the current offering is. For context, VW sells a different Passat in North America – we’ve had the European version all along.

Volkswagen Passat facelift, Arteon coming in H2 2019

Visually, the understated handsome saloon comes with a new front bumper (the fog lamp surrounds are the most obvious change, they’re no longer straight), new grille (two slats, one less than before) and slimmer headlamps. At the back, there’s a re-profiled bumper, new exhaust trim and new triple-L LED tail lamp signatures. Also, the Passat script logo now resides under the VW badge, like the Arteon.

Inside, the horizontal dashboard is largely unchanged, but the analogue clock between the central AC vents have been deleted. In its place is the Passat logo and a hazard light button. Below that, the small row of buttons have been evicted. There’s also a new steering wheel, while the 11.7-inch Active Info Display boasts shaper graphics and tweaked functionality.

In Europe, the Passat facelift is the first to come with VW’s third-generation Modular Infotainment Matrix (MIB3), an “always on” system that comes with its own SIM card. This need for continuous connectivity is necessary to interface with Volkswagen We (Plus), a new digital platform for mobility products. More on the Passat facelift here.

Two new arrivals, one departure. The one saying goodbye to Malaysia is the Volkswagen Beetle, which has run its course and has been discontinued globally. VPCM will be “sending it off with a big bang” and the farewell party for the Bug will be in July.

GALLERY: Volkswagen Arteon Malaysian preview at PACE 2018

GALLERY: Volkswagen Passat facelift

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