Volkswagen unveiled the all-new Passat at the Volkswagen Design Centre in Potsdam, Germany in July 2014, ahead of the car making its public debut at the Paris Motor Show in October that year. This is the eighth-generation of the Passat, which since launch in 1973 has racked up over 22 million sales worldwide.
Everything in this car is new: its design, technologies and engines. The Passat sets new standards with an unladen weight that has been reduced by up to 85 kg and fuel economy figures that have been improved by up to 14 per cent.
At 4,767 mm long, the new Passat is two millimetres shorter than the previous model, while the wheelbase is 79 mm longer at 2,791 mm and therefore the body overhangs significantly shorter. At the same time, the new Passat is 14 mm lower at 1,456 mm, and 12 mm wider at 1,832 mm.
Despite exterior dimensions that are actually marginally smaller than those of the previous Passat, interior space is improved, with more leg- and head-room, as well as increased luggage space.
Only petrol engines are available at launch. These are 1.4 TSI 110kW, 1.8 TSI 132kW and 2.0 TSI 162kW. The 1.4 TSI is available with 6-speed transmission as standard and optional 7-speed DSG. The 1.8 TSI is offered with 7-speed DSG transmission as standard. Meanwhile, the 2.0 TSI is mated to a 6-speed DSG transmission. The 2.0 TDI 130kW engine will be available from the second half of 2016.
At launch, two trim levels are offered: Comfortline and Highline. All derivatives offer a high level of standard features with highlights including Multi-Collision Braking System, Fatigue Detection (Driver Alert), Park Distance Control (front and rear), LED taillights, Alcantara/Vienna leather seats (Highline and R-Line), multifunction leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles for DSG derivatives and three-zone Climatronic air-conditioner (optional in Comfortline).
The interior has been developed to match the sophisticated exterior of the eighth-generation Passat. New technologies to be offered on the new Passat include the optional Active Info Display (available with the 8.0-inch Discover Pro Satellite Navigation system) which replaces the instrument cluster with a fully configurable interactive 12.3-inch TFT display and a head-up display (available early in 2016); the Composition Media Infotainment and the latest generation of Park Assist. This newly developed Park Assist includes an option for the car to park itself forwards into perpendicular spaces – useful, for example at supermarket car parks, where access to the boot is important.