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New VW Passat Spotted Testing

By raccars Published

It's not due to make its public debut until September at this year's Paris Motor Show but the next generation Volkswagen Passat, the second most important car in the company's model range, has already been seen as a prototype in spy shots. The current model has been in place since 2011 but this round of updates will see some significant changes.

One of the major updates to the Passat comes with the use of VW's new platform, the MQB scalable architecture. The new platform helps VW to keeps development costs low, as it allows the company to share a number of components and assembly line space with other models, such as the Golf. Previously the two models have been entirely distinct. At 90kg lighter than the existing chassis, the new underpinnings will also help the new Passat's fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures.

While the prototype undergoing testing is wearing a disguise, it's clear to see that the new VW Passat will be a far more modern looking prospect than its predecessor and with sleeker lines, sharing a common design language with the latest Golf. VW is said to have been concerned about presenting a premium image for the new Passat and, as such, has paid attention to panel fitting and other elements of build quality.

Both saloon and estate models will be included in the update, along with the Alltrack, a rough and ready version of the usually civilised Passat with SUV tendencies. The next generation looks larger than the current car both, on the outside and, by the looks of the longer wheelbase and shorter overhangs, the inside.

Among the new features is said to be a range of modern engines. The petrol line up is made up of a group of four cylinder turbocharged units in 1.4 litre, 1.8 and 2.0 litre capacities. The existing 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDI engines will be retained while there will also be a 70mpg achieving Passat BlueMotion. VW also intends to add a plug in hybrid to the range, powered by the 1.4 litre petrol engine and assisted by an electric motor.

The standard layout will be front wheel drive but there will be all wheel drive versions available. Similarly, cars will be fitted with a six speed manual transmission as standard but buyers can specify a seven speed dual clutch automatic gearbox on certain variants.

The eighth generation Passat is due to reach forecourts by early 2015.

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