It’s about time Volkswagen spiced up the US Passat sedan.
The Volkswagen Passat was never designed to set your pulse racing. Compared to its European equivalent, the US Passat is dreadfully dull. But the reveal of the performance-oriented Passat GT Concept at the 2016 LA Auto Show gave us hope that the mid-size sedan will finally be spiced up. Fast forward a year later, and Volkswagen has announced that the Passat GT is going into production. As expected, it looks nearly identical to the concept with over 20 exterior and interior enhancements giving the family sedan a sportier presence.
Available as a limited-run model, the Passat GT is based on the R-Line trim and features LED headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights as standards. Further differentiating it form the standard Passat is an R-Line bumper, honeycomb grille, GT badge, and a red accent line resembling the high-performance Golf GTI. Sport suspension gives the sedan a more aggressive stance. It will be available in four exterior colors: Pure White, Reflex Silver, Platinum Grey, and Deep Black. Other sporty flourishes include an all-black roof complemented with black mirror caps, black window and door trim, and 19-inch wheels accentuated with red brake calipers.
The sporty theme continues at the back with a black spoiler, blackened LED taillights, black bumper trim and a double exhaust with an acoustic package. "The Passat GT illustrates how the North American Region can shape Volkswagen vehicles specifically for the U.S. market," said Volkswagen's North American Chief Engineering Officer Dr. Matthias Erb. "Combining a local perspective with our global engineering expertise allows us to create vehicles that meet the needs and desires of customers here." Under the hood of the sport sedan lies a 3.6-liter VR6 engine sending 280 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm through a six-speed automatic transmission.
EPA-estimated fuel economy is rated at 19 mpg for city driving and 28 mpg on the highway. Inside, the Passat GT features a piano black center console and vent trim, carbon fiber optic decor, black headliner, aluminum GT-badged sills, and black leather seats with Moonrock Gray inserts and contrast stitching. Standard comfort equipment includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 8-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and heated side mirrors. Passengers can be entertained with the Passat GT's Composition Media infotainment unit featuring a 6.3-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity, and Voice Control.
There's also support for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. The 2018 Volkswagen Passat GT is expected to arrive in US dealers in Q2 2018 with prices starting at $29,090 plus an $850 destination charge.