It isn’t much. Let’s get that out of the way right up front, but it’s nonetheless the first glimpse we’ve been given of the midsize sedan Volkswagen plans to produce at its all-new Chattanooga assembly plant, which is still more than a year away from opening.
Volkswagen of America’s high-flying CEO, Stefan Jacoby, has set some tough targets for the automaker. It’s aiming to more than double sales, by 2018, to 800,000 units a year, significantly better than it did even back in the days when the original Beetle dominated the subcompact and import market segments.
Of course, it’s a very different VW today. The so-called “New” Beetle is little more than a market afterthought, and the company now offers a wide range of products, from the compact Golf up to the big Touareg sport-utility vehicle. But VW is betting that it needs to take a big step up from its current midsize offering, the Passat.