As expected, the next Passat gets a more dynamic-looking design that borrows styling cues such a narrow three-slat radiator grille, a rippled hood and angular headlights from recent Volkswagen concepts like the T-Roc and the NMC. The middle section of the car is expected to carry over roughly unchanged, but the rear end will get a cleaner design with sharp tail lamps and a rounded bumper.
Volkswagen has not published any images of the Passat’s interior but executives have previously confirmed the sedan will move up a notch on the market thanks to improved materials and more high-tech equipment. A digital instrument cluster should be standard on all models, and high-end trim levels will be offered with the latest generation of Volkswagen’s touch screen-based infotainment system.
Mechanically, the next Passat will be offered with a host of gasoline- and diesel-burning engines whose outputs will range from 118 to 276 horsepower. The headline-grabber will be a new 2.0-liter twin-turbocharged TDI mill that will send 236 horsepower and a potent 368 lb-ft. of torque to all four wheels via a seven-speed DSG gearbox. Volkswagen expects the oil-burner to return up to 47 mpg in a mixed European cycle.
The most fuel-efficient member of the next-gen Passat lineup will be a plug-in hybrid model powered by a 1.4-liter TSI four-cylinder engine linked to a 100-horsepower electric motor. Reports coming out of Germany indicate the plug-in hybrid Passat will boast a total of 201 horsepower and be able to drive on electricity alone for up to 31 miles.
The European-spec Passat will debut at next October’s Paris Motor Show and go on sale across the Old Continent shortly after. The U.S.-spec model’s replacement is still a couple of years away but the current variant is expected to get a thorough facelift in 2016.