Volkswagen certainly mastered the art of disguise. While the full-body camouflage wrap is eye-catching, the stickers mimicking the headlights, grille, and other body panels are convincing to most people. Luckily, our spy photographer is everything but average.
So when this silver VW Passat is seen, the camera starts to click. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a test vehicle in public; in fact, we just caught the plug-in hybrid model a few days ago. This prototype appears to be pure internal combustion, as there is no charging port on the fender. Fortunately for us, the vehicle was moving slowly and our photographer was able to take clear high-resolution shots so we could see the outline of the body behind all the fake stickers on the front.
It’s easy to see that the traditional VW Passat’s grille is now gone. A much smaller aperture unlike the ID.4 is on the back of the sticker, and the headlights are also thinner than the ones we see here. Moving our gaze further down, it’s easy to see the shape of the smile from the lower fascia through the fake corner vent sticker. It’s possible that some trim pieces were missing on this test vehicle, but these images reveal the face of the new Passat with surprising clarity… once you look behind its disguise. The same trick happens on the rear, but again, the fake black sticker doesn’t hide the new bumper. There are also smaller taillights.
Viewed from the side, the new Passat wagon appears to be slightly wider, offering more space inside for passengers. Regarding the interior, spy photos have shown a digital interior with a tablet-style infotainment screen that is also similar to ID.4. Unlike the electric crossover, this Passat uses a petrol or diesel engine for power, but it will almost certainly be the last of its kind.
The test vehicle has been seen in public for almost a year at this point, so debut shouldn’t be too far away. Our sources say Volkswagen is looking to launch the car in the second half of 2023 or 2024, which would likely make it a model year 2024. In the meantime, jump to the latest Chatting About Cars podcast for more news and witty banter in the automotive world.