The new Volkswagen Passat has been spied wearing a production-based body for the first time ahead of its planned unveiling at the Paris motor show in September.
Key among the innovations adopted by the new Passat, known internally as the ‘B8’, is VW’s highly flexible MQB platform structure.
The MQB platform provides the Passat with greater component sharing potential with other VWs. It also helps to streamline production by enabling the new Passat to be assembled on the same assembly line as the Golf.
The early road-going prototypes are heavily disguised, but the new Passat is said to take on a much edgier look and have tauter surfacing in line with the styling direction taken by the latest Golf.
Insiders privy to early design models suggest that the new car has gained a more technically orientated appearance. A clear focus on panel fit and shutline architecture is said to provide a lift in perceived quality.
Together with the standard saloon and estate models spied here, VW also plans a follow-up to the Passat Alltrack - a rugged, high-riding version of the estate.
As evidenced by the prototypes here, the future incarnation of VW’s traditional mid-range model is slightly longer but considerably wider than today’s Passat. Its longer wheelbase provides scope for added interior accommodation.
The Passat is earmarked to receive a heavily updated range of turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engines, of 1.4, 1.8 and 2.0 litres. Diesels will include carried-over versions of VW’s 1.6 and 2.0 TDI in varying states of tune. A super-frugal Passat BlueMotion model should achieve more than 70mpg.
Mirroring the move made with the Golf, VW also plans a plug-in hybrid version of the new Passat. It will mix a 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor.
Buyers will be offered the choice of either standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive on a number of different engines. A six-speed manual gearbox will be standard, with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto optional.