Next-Gen VW Passat Spied With Plug-In Hybrid Powertrain

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The next-generation Volkswagen Passat is back in a new batch of spy photos, this time showing a plug-in hybrid version of the German family vehicle. This prototype was spied on by our friends and colleagues at motor.es in broad daylight shows the position of the charging port and other interesting details.

As we’ve already reported, the next-gen Passat will only be available as a wagon, and judging by what we can see in these photos, it’s going to be a bit bigger than the previous model. There are panels that expand the area around the B-pillar, which hints at the potential for a longer wheelbase. Keep in mind we are talking about a version for the European market as the Passat is no longer available in the United States.

Believed to be called the Passat Variant eHybrid, this long-roof electrified vehicle has a charging port on the front left fender. This, along with the modified Volkswagen logo, will be the only design changes compared to the regular combustion-powered model. However, a much more important change will come under the skin where the Passat is expected to get a new plug-in hybrid powertrain.

motor.es reports the turbocharged 1.4-liter TSI engine of the current PHEV system will be replaced by a larger 1.5-liter engine with a cylinder deactivation function. The combustion unit will be powered by a small electric motor housed in a double-clutch automatic gearbox. More importantly, Volkswagen will reportedly install a battery twice as large, which will give the new Passat PHEV an electric range of up to 62 miles (100 kilometers) depending on conditions.

While the exterior will feature evolutionary styling, the interior of the new Passat – in all its versions – will be very new. Photos from earlier this month show a new dashboard with a cleaner design and more digital gadgets. As expected, the center console will be dominated by a large tablet-style screen. As a cost-cutting measure, Volkswagen will replace the physical buttons for heating and air conditioning with capacitive touch controls.

Look for the new Passat to hit VW showrooms across Europe next year. It will be produced in Slovakia alongside the new Skoda Superb and will be joined by an all-electric sedan, tentatively known as the Aero B, which is also in development.

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