Say goodbye to the current bland-looking Passat. Say hello to this stunner?
We've known for some time now that Volkswagen has been hard at work on an all-new North American market Passat. The current generation, built in Chattanooga, Tennessee, has been on sale since 2011. Compared to its immediate predecessor, the outgoing Passat is, in a word, bland, styling wise. It's not that it was a bad car but it was very conservatively styled inside out. What's more, it was designed and built specifically for North America while Europe received a more stylish and premium Passat. That won't be the case for much longer.
Without question there's lots of Arteon design influences throughout, especially up front and from a side profile. Despite having the familiar three-box sedan design, this new Passat is sleeker and unquestionably sexier than today's car. Despite the sloped roofline, there's still a traditional trunk as opposed to a liftback design. It's also bigger than the Euro-spec Passat. For example, it's about 3 inches longer and has roomier rear seat.
Speaking of which, note the quilted leather and fancy glass bottles in the center armrest cupholders. The cupholders will surely be on the US market version, but we're not so sure about the upgraded upholstery rear seats. Remember, it's very fashionable in China for owners to be chauffeured around town by a hired driver, hence the need for VW to upgrade the rear seats. It doesn't work like that in America.
The new Passat will ride on VW's MQB platform which also underpins the likes of the Arteon, Atlas, Jetta, and Europe's Passat. Under the hood, there's a good chance the VW will make further use of the same turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four with 268 hp found in the Arteon. It's paired to an eight-speed automatic sending power to either the front or all four wheels. The Arteon's US launch was recently delayed and isn't expected to go on sale until early next year. The all-new Passat, however, will likely debut at either Los Angeles in late November or at Detroit in mid-January.