A bigger and more sharply-styled VW Passat is in the final stages of testing ahead of September’s Paris motor show.
Essentially a nose and tail job on the existing car, this revamp is a stop-gap to keep today’s B6 Passat fresh until the new B7 version arrives around 2012/13.
Just like the Golf/Touran family overhauls, the new Passat sticks with the current underpinnings and main skin panels, but adds a striking new nose and tail.
Key to the changes up front are a new four-bar grille that’s finished in similar quality gloss chrome to the new Audi A8.
Flowing out of the grille — and hidden under the thick disguise — is a prominent bonnet bulge with crisp edges.
Together with new headlights that take on the flavour of the new Merc E-Class by incorporating a pair of prominent square reflectors, VW will attempt to lend a greater feeling of quality and prestige to the Passat.
Following the direction of the Golf overhaul, the Passat also gets a full-width lower air intake intended to visually emphasise the Passat’s stance.
Inside there are similar design tweaks aimed at raising the perceived quality.
There are new trim materials, higher grade plastics, a new instrument pack and a Golf-style steering wheel with spoke-mounted controls.
Engines will mirror today’s range, while the chassis gets revised settings to improve ride and handling.