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 |  Jan 10 2011, 1:15 PM

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Volkswagen revealed the new 2012 Passat the night before the 2011 Detroit Auto Show but we’ve now got the first live photos of the Tennessee-produced mid-sized sedan.

As reported yesterday, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat will be available with three drivetrains, a 170 hp 2.5l five-cylinder engine (with five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, a 140 hp 2.0l TDI Clean Diesel engine (with an estimated fuel economy of 43 mpg) and a 3.6l VR6 featuring 280 hp and an estimated 28 mpg. The Passat VR6 will also come standard with a six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission.

The Passat will be available in three trims, S, SE and SEL, all with safety features such as Intelligent Crash Response Systems, a tire pressure monitoring system, ABS with braking assistant, and six airbags. Manual transmission models will also get hill climb assist.

GALLERY: 2012 Volkswagen Passat

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Please visit our Passat Forum for more news on the 2012 Volkswagen Passat, at http://www.passatworld.com.

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 |  Jan 09 2011, 10:26 PM

The long awaited 2012 Volkswagen Passat has finally been revealed a day ahead of its world premiere at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, looking very much like the recently released 2011 Volkswagen Jetta, sporting the same corporate face and profile in a larger package.

Built at VW’s new Tennesse facility, the Passat’s 191 inche length makes the car larger than a Toyota Camry by 2 inches, a radical departure from the more compact Passats of yesteryear.

Trim levels S, SE and SEL will be offered, with power coming from the corporate 2.5L 5-cylinder engine making 170 horsepower, the 2.0L TDI diesel making 140 horsepower and Volkswagen’s beloved VR6 engine, producing 280 horsepower. The VR6 (and, we presume, the TDI) will come with a DSG dual clutch gearbox, allowing it to run to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds while returning 28 mpg on the highway.

Starting at under $20,000, the Passat is aiming to break out of its niche as a quirky European alternative and finally be taken seriously as a Tier 1 mid-size sedan. The car may have never sold in big numbers, but its superlative interior, interesting powertrains and European street cred were always respected. Hopefully VWs attempt to bring the car hasn’t come at the expense of character.

GALLERY: 2012 Volkswagen Passat

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See video of the all new 2012 Passat after the jump:

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