Volkswagen is pushing ahead with plans to extend its Passat line-up to include a style-led CC Shooting Brake, Autocar can reveal.

Senior VW officials say that the new five-door model, depicted here in an exclusive computer-generated image, has been conceived to join a successor to today’s swoopy four-door saloon in a second-generation line-up based on Volkswagen’s versatile MQB platform.

The next Passat is tentatively scheduled for launch in early 2015. The model is set to grow in size, with the overall length said to extend to almost 4900mm. This is aimed at more successfully filling the gap in the line-up between the Passat and range-topping Phaeton.

The bigger dimensions will also provide the basis for improvements in interior packaging, including greater rear seat accommodation. As with today’s CC, the new model will use a range of transversely mounted four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. A plug-in petrol-electric hybrid is also likely.

Buyers will be able to choose between standard front-wheel drive and optional 4Motion four-wheel drive, which will use VW’s latest Haldex 5 system.

Secrecy surrounds the CC Shooting Brake model, which is still to be officially confirmed, but it is expected to place style before outright versatility in a move mirroring that taken by Mercedes-Benz with its latest CLS Shooting Brake.

Among the design elements that will distinguish the new VW are a heavily curved roofline and an angled tailgate. Luggage capacity of up to 570 litres is also expected.

The decision to expand the CC line-up to include the Shooting Brake is based around continued strong sales for the more practical Passat estate.

“The market for estates continues to grow and we want to expand our sales potential,” an insider told Autocar. “We see a definite trend towards the so-called Shooting Brake. Whether we decide to adopt that name remains undecided.”

Image: Christian Schulte