Volkswagen is celebrating a raft of awards for its class-leading in-car technology in the inaugural Car Tech Awards presented by automotive consumer site and magazine Carbuyer in association with sister technology website Alphr.com.
Dennis Publishing’s Carbuyer and Alphr.com joined forces to develop the new Car Tech Awards, a celebration of the very best in-car technology on the market today, and Volkswagen’s modern range of hi-tech models won over the expert judges thanks to the cars’ capability, simplicity and breadth of performance.
Stuart Milne, Editor of Carbuyer, said: “With a price tag of more than £25,000, the Passat was up against some big names with some even bigger price tags. But none of them combined such an excellent suite of tech into such a complete package.
“The Passat was streets ahead of its rivals in many areas, but was the only car in its class to perform well across the board.”
Stuart added: "It’s a worthy winner of our ‘Tech Car of the Year over £25,000’ award, and sets a new benchmark for in-car technology.”
Meanwhile Alphr.com Reviews Editor, Jon Bray, said: “What I like about the Passat is that it covers off all the important features – from Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and its swanky virtual cockpit dashboard to excellent parking and driver aids – without making much of a fuss, or costing the earth. It’s a fabulous all-rounder.”
Over the past few months, experts from Carbuyer and Alphr.com have been syncing, streaming, prodding, swiping and pinching each and every major new car on the market today to find the best of the best.
They’ve been examining audio, connectivity, driving-assistance systems, satellite navigation systems, self-parking technology, autonomous driving systems and safety innovations and with different kinds of experience in testing in different ways, the collaboration has allowed them to review cars in a completely different way.
Today’s Passat stands out therefore not least because its wide range of standard safety, convenience, comfort and infotainment features might previously have been the reserve of the luxury class. Standard on every new Passat in the UK is, for instance, Automatic Post-Collision Braking which automatically brakes the vehicle when it is involved in an accident in order significantly to reduce its residual kinetic energy and hence prevent or minimise the severity of a subsequent collision.
Meanwhile, in the area of infotainment, the optionally available Discover Navigation Pro system offers satellite navigation with integrated voice activation, Volkswagen’s Car-Net ‘Guide and Inform Plus’ and Car-Net ‘App-Connect’ which can all be operated intuitively via the 8.0-inch TFT colour touch-screen.
Eight powerful speakers deliver great acoustics in the Discover Nav Pro-equipped Passat while the DVD system is compatible with MP3 and WMA files. It also offers a 64 GB SSD hard drive, two SD card readers, photo display from JPEG and PNG files, voice control and a USB connection.
The Discover Navigation Pro also features ‘Guide and Inform Plus’ providing online access to a range of useful information such as traffic, fuel pricing, parking space availability, weather, news feeds and Google Earth. In addition, the Car-Net ‘App-Connect’ combines the functionality of Apple ‘CarPlay’, Google ‘Android Auto’ and ‘MirrorLink’™ allowing ‘mirroring’ of a smartphone display on the infotainment touch-screen via USB connection. Display and operation of certified apps, including audio and voice control, is also possible if supported by the selected app.
2015 European Car of the Year, the Passat is available here from £22,680 RRP OTR.
Meanwhile the Dynaudio Excite soundpack, an option on certain Golf models and ‘Best In-car Audio’ award winner in the Carbuyer awards, is a tailored sound system which includes a ten-channel digital amplifier, 400-Watt output and eight speakers. A boot-mounted subwoofer sits in the spare wheel well.
Dynaudio, the Danish high-end audio specialist, was founded more than 35 years ago as the dream of uncompromising music enthusiasts who were also exceptional engineers. The aim was simple: to deliver the purest sound possible – aptly described by the company motto “all there is”.
Dynaudio has developed its in-car sound systems specifically for Volkswagen. A precise number of high performance speakers (depending on the size of the cabin), plus matching digital amplifiers (one channel per loudspeaker) with Digital Sound Processor (DSP) technology and a total minimum continuous output offer exceptional music reproduction with dynamic and uncompromised sound, even at high levels.
The low-resonance speakers are strategically integrated in the car for ideal sound distribution, with the system tailored to each specific model interior by means of the digital signal processor. And with no vibration or distortion to spoil listening pleasure, the driver – and every passenger – is set to enjoy a pure listening experience.
Commenting on the Car Tech Awards success Tim O’Donovan, Product Marketing Manager at Volkswagen UK, said: “Technology is at the very heart of Volkswagen’s current and future product plans so to see Passat and Golf, two of our most important models, praised so highly in these awards is a real boost.
“For Passat, in particular, to see off the technological challenge of cars from much more expensive sectors of the market is a great advert for its quality, value and functionality.”