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All-New Volkswagen Passat Has Gone Upmarket – This One’s For Europe

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Euro-spec Passat unveiled as VW takes the fight to BMW and Mercedes.

Volkswagen has unveiled the eighth-generation Passat in Berlin ahead of the new sharply-styled more upscale sedan's public reveal at the Paris Motor Show in October. Forbidden fruit for the North American populace, this Euro-spec Passat aims to take the fight to its compatriot's more upmarket offerings, namely the Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 Series. Built on VW's highly-flexible MQB platform, the new Passat is marginally smaller than the outgoing model yet is both roomier and more practical.

A lower curb weight combined with a new range of gasoline and diesel engines also makes it more efficient with the Passat 2.0 TDI BMTI said to return 68.9 mpg on the EU cycle (over 57 mpg US). In addition to three gasoline engines, which includes a 216-hp 2.0-liter four-pot, and three diesel units topped by a twin-turbo engine delivering 237 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque boasting a 0-62 mph time of 6.1 secs, VW plans to roll out a Passat utilizing a plug-in gasoline electric hybrid system. Combining a 1.4-liter 154-hp gasoline engine with a 107-hp electric motor, the carmaker says it will have an electric range of "over 31 miles" and an overall range of "more than 600 miles."

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VW design boss, Walter d'Silva, describes the new Passat's appearance as technical inspired, evidenced by its subtle crease lines, short overhangs and understated detailing. LED taillamps and headlamps featuring halogen or LED main beam functions reinforce that technical link. Inside, the new mid-range model has been totally overhauled as VW elevates the Passat to the premium bracket. Upmarket features include high quality materials, a TT-derived digital instrument cluster, head-up display, a new dashboard fascia, new radar and camera based features including self-parking and Traffic Jam Assist, and optional 12.3-inch color monitor. The 2015 Passat will be offered in sedan and wagon guise from launch.