Volkswagen put extendable head-up display and lots of other gadgets into the 2015 Passat in order to make it the best-selling sedan once again. America, this is what you're missing.
The first head-up display system for cars was developed by GM in the late eighties, and while the 1998 Corvette C5 even got color HUD, the rest of the automotive world was soon to follow including Audi, BMW, Citroën, Saab, Toyota and many more.
It's Audi's system that's interesting here because by using VW's MQB platform, Volkswagen can now afford to build parts from the premium shelf into its cheaper models as well.
Bloomberg reports that the European Passat — which is smaller than the US model — will also be available with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain providing an all-electric range of 31 miles.
Apart from the extendible HUD, the new Passat also gets an optional but fully configurable 12.3-inch TFT display while the base model uses a 6.5-inch color display in the center console.
In the back, expect an app-based entertainment package for tablet computers, while the driver gets help from all the radars and sensors in the world doing pedestrian monitoring with automatic emergency braking, trailer assist and traffic jam assist, which I presume is an active cruise control linked to the start-stop system.
These features make the 2015 Volkswagen Passat just as smart as a BMW or a Mercedes-Benz for a lot less money, starting at $35,200, thus undercutting the competition by almost five grand.
The question remains how much of these goodies can make their way to the upcoming US Passat as well. All would be ideal. In a wagon.