New 2023 Volkswagen Passat: engines, technology and details

Volkswagen’s next-generation Passat is set to be launched this year

The Passat celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and VW is planning to mark the milestone with an all-new model. These latest spy shots show that the production reveal is almost upon us as the B9 generation Volkswage Passat looks to take on the executive car sector once again. 

So far we’ve only caught the new Passat testing in estate form. We expect to see a hatchback bodystyle too with the saloon ditched from the range so as not to step on the toes of the similarly-sized VW Arteon. 

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These new pictures confirm plenty of design details of the new Passat. The overall style will evolve from the current car’s with headlights merging into a slimmer grille and air intakes beside the lower grille. The upper grille is actually closed off, which should help improve the drag coefficient. Some false fog lights are visible lower down on the bumper. 

The Passat appears longer from the side, which will help distinguish it from the Golf – which has grown in its current eighth-generation guise. Towards the rear, individual rear brake light clusters are preferred over a rear light bar such as the ones found on the ID.4 and ID.5. 

Inside the new Passat we could see technology taken from the larger Touareg. This could mean a 15-inch display alongside a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel will feature as part of VW’s ‘​​Innovision Cockpit’ layout. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will have wireless connectivity.  

VW’s family car has been moved from its traditional home at Emden in Germany to make way for the ID.4 SUV and ID. Aero. Instead, both the Passat and next-generation Skoda Superb will be built in Bratislava, Slovakia, using the same platform. Several iterations of the MQB platform have emerged since the current Passat was launched with the next one set to use the latest MQB Evo underpinnings. 

The Passat’s wheelbase is likely to be stretched to match the Superb’s 2.85 metres. While that should translate into more legroom for rear-seat passengers, the extra length will also go towards improving boot space, with the estate model in particular carving out a new niche for the Passat as the brand’s most practical non-SUV or commercial vehicle-based offering.

All-electric drive will be catered for by the upcoming production version of the ID. Space Vizzion – an estate based on the Passat-sized ID. Aero.

The popularity of diesel in this segment has slipped over recent years, but the Passat could continue with TDI options. We should see the latest version of the brand’s 2.0 TDI turbocharged unit under the bonnet, in states of tune ranging from 148bhp to 197bhp. 4MOTION all-wheel drive will also be available and could appear in a revived Alltrack model. 

Petrol power will play second fiddle, but will be an important bridge towards an expanded plug-in hybrid offering, with two options anticipated.

The entry-level eHybrid model will develop around 200bhp, but an even more powerful GTE model is also likely to go on sale, with a larger battery than the 13kWh unit used in the current Passat GTE. It would enable a much longer all-electric range than the current car’s 40 miles electric-only maximum range.

Matching the bigger pack would be improved recharging technology, with a move from 3.6kW to 11kW AC charging.

With the 2030 ban on internal combustion engined cars looming, the upcoming Passat could be the last offering with petrol or diesel in the UK.

Now read our list of the best family cars…

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