Or is it just "fake news" out of China?
It is no secret that the current generation Volkswagen Passat is dying a slow death in the United States. While Europe already has a much nicer Passat, the US model is experiencing slow sales - so slow in fact that Volkswagen had to temporarily pause production. Volkswagen is giving the Passat one last hoorah with the sporty GT model, but a new model can't come soon enough. The new Passat is still a few months away from a full reveal, but a Chinese publication called Netease Auto has somehow obtained images of the new car.
Judging by the leaked photos, the new Passat will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary. The reworked front and rear fascias look to be inspired by the Arteon, and are more inline with the Passat that's sold in Europe. Unfortunately, there are no pictures of the interior, so we are left to speculate whether Volkswagen's digital dashboard will make an appearance here. The Chinese outlet claims that three engines will be offered: a 1.4-liter turbo four producing 150 horsepower, and a 2.0-liter turbo four in two states of tune producing 186 hp or 220 hp. All engines are rumored to be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch sending power to the front wheels.
A plug-in hybrid version is also said to be coming later on. We'll have to wait and see how accurate this information is, because Chinese market cars have a habit of being quite different from US market vehicles. Volkswagen really needs to score a win with this new Passat to garner back sales in the highly competitive midsize sedan segment.