DETROIT -- Volkswagen of America Inc. is introducing a radar-based cruise control system in the United States on the 2006 Passat.
"This is a next-generation adaptive cruise control system that moves from a high end niche market to a mass market," says Phil Cunningham, director of product planning for chassis products at TRW Automotive. TRW makes the system, which is called the ACC 20.
VW began offering adaptive cruise control in Europe on the 2003 Phaeton. In Germany, the factory option costs 2,400 euros, or $3,107 at current exchange rates. VW has not set U.S. prices.
A top-of-the-line 2005 Passat GLX with FourMotion all-wheel drive has a sticker price of $33,190, including shipping.
Adaptive cruise control allows a driver to keep a set distance behind the car in front of it by automatically braking or accelerating in response to a radar beam. The system is housed behind the VW logo on the grille. In the Phaeton, the unit is inside the front bumper.
The 2006 Passat goes on sale in the United States in August. The car joins a growing list of models offering adaptive cruise control: the Audi A8, BMW 5 and 7 series, Cadillac XLR, Infiniti Q45, Mercedes-Benz S class and Toyota Sienna XLE.
The cruise control system on the Passat is TRW's first on a U.S. vehicle.
Robert Bosch GmbH and Delphi Corp. make similar systems.
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