In July, Volkswagen unveiled the new Passat at its world premiere in Potsdam. Just recently the eighth generation of this best-selling car celebrated its trade show debut as one of the highlights at the Paris Motor Show. And already the story continues: in the middle of November the new Passat is being launched initially in Germany; and the very next week the pan-European launch begins. Further international markets and the right-hand-drive versions will follow step-by-step from 2015. Everything in this car is new. Its design, technologies, engines and possibilities. The Passat sets new standards with an unladen weight that has been reduced by up to 85 kg and its fuel economy figures that have been improved by up to 20 per cent. For the first time there will also be a version with a hybrid plug-in drive system: the Passat GTE. 22 million units produced. The launch of the eighth generation Passat marks the debut of the latest version of a global bestseller. When all derivatives are included, nearly 22 million units have been built. In 2013 alone, over 1.1 million people chose to buy a model from this series. Last year, on average, somewhere in the world a Passat, or a Magotan in China, was sold every 29 seconds. That’s two Passat cars a minute, 126 an hour and more than 3,000 a day. Every day. The Passat from Volkswagen is the Group’s most successful model.
The new Passat’s design combines stylish clarity with a high degree of power. A design that is not simply fashionable but is contemporary. A design that is not whimsical but is expressive. A design in which every line has a purpose. A design that will leave a mark on its era. The new Passat was created based on the modular transverse matrix – thanks to this platform, its proportions were made to be significantly more dynamic (including lower body, longer wheelbase and larger wheels) and its overall package was improved. While preserving all of its functional virtues, the Passat has gained noticeably in presence, exclusivity and dynamism. Even at night the Passat has an unmistakable look due to its newly developed LED headlights (standard on ‘Highline’ models and above) and standard LED rear lights. In the new Passat, Volkswagen has created saloon and estate cars that cross over into a higher class. As the most successful European business car, the Passat represents a new type of business class – a transition car between the mid- and premium classes and between the B and C segments.
Analogous to the expressive exterior is an interior that has been developed with the aesthetics, clarity and high value to match the sophisticated overall concept of the eighth-generation Passat. Based on numerous new design solutions such as a concise continuous horizontal band of air vents and technologies – such as an Active Info Display (interactive digital instruments), head-up display and an extremely low-profile ambient lighting strip – the interior has a more avant-garde and exclusive appearance than ever.
New assistance, infotainment and convenience systems make individual mobility more sustainable, interconnected and communicative; they also play an active role in the driving process and make it even safer. The Passat has advanced to become a vehicle whose technologies move beyond segment boundaries. These technologies include – along with the Active Info Display and head-up display – systems such as an app-based rear seat entertainment system for tablet computers, Front Assist plus City Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection and three world firsts: Emergency Assist (stops vehicle in an emergency), Trailer Assist (assisted manoeuvring with a trailer) and the traffic jam assistant.
The new Passat will be available with 10 direct injection turbocharged engines (petrol / TSI and diesel / TDI) that cover a power range from 88 kW / 120 PS to 206 kW / 280 PS. All of the drive systems are new aboard the Passat. The engines’ fuel consumption levels, and therefore their CO2 emissions as well, have been reduced by as much as 20 per cent. All versions are equipped with a stop-start system and a regenerative braking mode. A dual clutch gearbox (DSG) is available as an option for all engine versions, and it is standard with the top engine.
For the first time, the range will include a model with a plug-in hybrid drive system (115-kW TSI plus 85-kW electric motor and externally chargeable battery): the Passat GTE. With a system power of 160 kW / 218 PS, it is the most powerful plug-in hybrid from Volkswagen to date. This Passat can be driven as a zero-emissions vehicle over a range of up to 50 km with all-electric power.
The petrol engines begin at a power output of 92 kW / 125 PS. At the next power level, there is a 110 kW / 150 PS TSI with active cylinder management (ACT); the turbocharged 1.4-litre direct injection engine has a fuel consumption figure of 4.9 l/100 km (equating to 115 g/km CO2) – 1.3 l/100 km / 20 per cent less than the comparable previous model. Other power output levels: 132 kW / 180 PS, 162 kW / 220 PS and 206 kW / 280 PS. As mentioned, the plug-in hybrid’s TSI produces 115 kW / 156 PS. The models delivering 220 and 280 PS and the Passat GTE are in general equipped with DSG.
A powertrain highlight of the range is the most powerful four-cylinder turbocharged direct injection diesel engine (TDI) ever offered by Volkswagen: a new 2.0-litre twin turbo engine delivering 176 kW / 240 PS that consumes just 5.3l/100 km (equating to 139 g/km of CO2) This engine gives the saloon a top speed of 240 km/h; in the case of the estate it is 238 km/h. Due to the high maximum torque of 500 Nm, the 240-PS Passat is fitted as standard with 4MOTION all-wheel-drive and a seven-speed DSG.
On the diesel side the engine range begins at launch with two 2.0 TDI engines: a 110 kW / 150 PS version (fuel consumption: 4.1 l/100 km, equating to 108 g/ km of CO2) and the top TDI version (176 kW / 240 PS). Also following later this year will be a 1.6 TDI delivering 88 kW / 120 PS and a 2.0 TDI with power output of 140 kW / 190 PS. In 2015, the Passat TDI BlueMotion will be introduced as an even more fuel-efficient model, also delivering 88 kW / 120 PS.
Three equipment lines. As in the previous model, Volkswagen will be launching the new Passat on the market in three equipment lines: Trendline, Comfortline and Highline. Even the Passat Trendline is packed with features: 16-inch wheels with 215 tyres and LED rear lights add character to the exterior. While interior features include a front centre armrest with storage compartment and height adjustment for the front seats. Functional features include: Keyless Go (a button for starting and stopping the engine), Driver Alert, Automatic Post-Collision Braking, a tyre pressure indicator, the ‘Composition Colour’ radio system with 5-inch touchscreen, the ‘Plus’ multi-function display, daytime running lights, Hill Hold Assist, Auto Hold, a coasting function (with DSG) and air conditioning. All models also have a Stop-Start system and a regenerative braking mode. The Passat Comfortline, with an even more exclusive specification, additionally comes as standard with details such as Front Assist including City Emergency Braking. In the case of the top version, the Passat Highline, not only are classic features such as Alcantara/leather trim, but also LED headlights already included.