The VW Passat is a good-looking sedan that hasn't exactly set the world on fire since its redesign for the 2006 model year. In fact, July sales of VW's biggest car were down a staggering 34% from July 2006. It doesn't help that the Passat carries a hefty premium vs. other midsize sedans, costing over $30,000 for the base V6, which is $7,000 more than a V6 Accord.

To further spur Passat sales, VW is in the final stages of testing a four-door coupe variant. Shy photographer Hans G Lehmann caught the sleek, Mercedes Benz CLK-like coupe in testing, and from the looks of the nearly undisguised pics, VW has a good looking vehicle on its hands. Our problem with said coupe is the premium position VW is planning, with prices starting somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000. For those of you scoring at home, that's base 5-Series money. For $40k, VW had better be planning on adding AWD and a turbo 3.6, or sales will be less than stellar. We'd be interested to hear whether you feel America is ready for a $40,000 Passat, or is the luxurious four-door coupe destined to be the next Phaeton?

[Source: Inside Line]