The eighth-generation Volkswagen Passat has broken cover with a new look and a new suite of technologies and drivetrains, including a plug-in hybrid. Volkswagen is looking to earn a bigger chunk if the midsize sedan market, and on paper the new Passat has the goods. But can it deliver?
On tap for the 2015 Passat are ten engines all new to the car, offering up to 20% better fuel economy over the outgoing model. The new Passat is anchored by both gasoline and turbodiesel engines ranging from a 123 horsepower base motor to a 235 horsepower 2.0 liter bi-turbo diesel that is Volkswagen’s most powerful ever, though a 276 horsepower 2.0 liter gas engine is also on tap. The turbodiesel will reportedly return up to 44 MPG, rivaling many hybrid offerings.
Speaking of hybrids, the new Passat will come with a plug-in hybrid version that Volkswagen says will deliver up to 31 miles of electric driving range. The system combines a 154 horsepower TSI gas engine with a 80 kw electric motor for total output 208 horsepower, making it Vdub’s most powerful plug-in hybrid. Volkswagen says the fuel economy will be similar to that of the Golf GTE, which means the Passat would be capable of around 130 MPGe, making it among the most efficient cars on the road.
FOr 2015 the Passat is also getting new safety features like Lane Assist, a Heads-Up Display, and City Emergency Braking, which automatically stops the car if it detects an impending collision.
All that, and it looks pretty sharp too. Pre-sales begin in Europe today with a starting price of about $35,200.