Europe Will Get Plug-In Hybrid Powertrain In New Passat

    Volkswagen has unveiled an all-new Passat for Europe at a ceremony at the Volkswagen Design Center in Potsdam, Germany.

    The latest car, which will be premiered at the Paris Motor Show in October, is the eighth-generation of the Passat, which over the past 41 years has racked up over 23 million sales worldwide.

    Volkswagen stated everything in this car is new: its design, technologies and engines.

    The company said its new European Passat sets new standards with an unladen weight that has been reduced by up to 85 kilograms and fuel economy figures that have been improved by up to 20 percent.

    And, for the first time there will also be a Passat with a plug-in hybrid drive system. VW says it will have potential to travel 31 miles on battery power alone, and with a maximum range of around 600 miles.

    In its design and in the advanced features it offers, Volkswagen said the new Passat bridges the gap between the upper medium and premium class.

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    While the very different U.S. Passat is only offered as a sedan, Europe will also get a wagon version.

    Because of the optimized engine orientation, it was possible to lower significantly the hood and shift the windshield towards the rear, explained Volkswagen. This “cab backward design” helps to create the impression of a premium-class car. Extremely precisely drawn edges and creases which develop individual light-reflecting surfaces help to continue this impression. The company added at the front, the new Passat’s radiator grille features four chrome bars which bend inward towards the headlights in a trapezoidal shape. The lowermost chrome bar of the grille is continued into the headlights.

    All models of this new Passat will have LED rear lights, while the higher-specification versions will feature a horizontal tail light signature that switches over to a vertically oriented brake light under braking. Headlights are halogen or LED, says VW.  In conjunction with Dynamic Light Assist, one of the two LED headlight options automatically adjusts the beam for maximum illumination of the road without dazzling other traffic.

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    Despite exterior dimensions that are actually marginally smaller than those of the previous Passat, Vw said interior space is improved, with more leg- and head-room, as well as increased luggage space.

    A highlight of the Passat’s new range of engines, explained VW, is a high-performance, four-cylinder, 2.0-liter, bi-turbo diesel.  This engine will be available only with a new seven-speed DSG gearbox and 4MOTION all-wheel drive.