Production of the Volkswagen Passat is over in the U.S., with the sedan being phased out of the American car market as VW pushes on to bigger and better things, like SUVs and EVs. The stately passenger car gets one last hurrah inspired by the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the Passat has been assembled for the last decade, since 2011.
You may be a fan of VW’s Wolfsburg editions, but now you can roll in your Chattanooga edition. That’s not the official name for it, but it should have been:
Volkswagen will make 1,973 of the Limited Editions for the 2022 model year spread out over the four paint finishes that will be available. The math VW used to get to that number is a bit convoluted, Volkswagen explains:
A run of 1,973 Limited Edition models are expected to be produced to recognize the year the first Passat was launched in Germany.
The Passat Limited Edition will be available in four unique color combinations, with the number of each paying homage to an aspect of the vehicle’s past. Aurora Red Metallic models with Titan Black interior will number 411 units, representing the original vehicle production code. Racing Green Metallic models with Mauro Brown interior will be number 423, for the Chattanooga, TN area code, and Pure White models with Mauro Brown interior will number 524 units, signifying the opening date of the Chattanooga Plant on May 24, 2011. To round out the limited run, 615 Platinum Grey Metallic models with Titan Black interior will be produced—signifying six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales.
Besides the paint finishes, buyers will also get different wheels and mirror caps. These Passats will also come with better lighting, and their cabins get some nice upgrades. The Limited Edition will have upgraded “comfort sport” seats, Fender audio, and with VW’s parking assist features.
There are commemorative touches throughout the cabin that nod to the car’s hometown, like “aerial maps of the city and an aerial line drawing of the Chattanooga factory.”
All of these upgrades will set you back about $6,000 over the sedan’s base price. The Limited Edition will start at $30,295, before reaching dealers. It’s not bad overall, given the whole package. This is a well-equipped full-sized sedan in the low thirties.
Even if the Passat is going away, VW’s relationship with the city is far from over. The Chattanooga plant will pick up production of the new ID.4, per VW:
“We’ve sold some version of the Passat for nearly 50 years, and the Passat launched our relationship with Chattanooga, which supports thousands of jobs,” said Scott Keogh, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “With the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport in high demand, and the North American production launch of the all-electric ID.4 SUV next year, our future in Chattanooga looks brighter than ever.”
Even if it sucks for those of us who love sedans and want to see them as a part of the broader landscape, it’s not surprising that the Passat would finally be phased out; its sales had been steadily declining. It’s sad to see the Passat go, but at the very least, it got a fitting farewell. The last of the U.S. cars look great.