Volkswagen officially revealed the images of the eighth-generation Passat at a special press meet in Berlin. Internally called B8, the new Passat is the European-spec car and will be quite different than its American counterpart. Unlike the previous B7 model, the new Passat is a completely new car and is based on the Volkswagen Group’s popular Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform.
Extensive use of high-strength steel and aluminum in several areas of the vehicle has made the car lighter by 85 kilograms. The new Passat has the same overall length as its predecessor, but the wheelbase has been stretched by 79mm and the boot space has been increased by 21 litres.
The new Passat has a low-slung, aerodynamic body and a raked windscreen. The more dynamic-looking design cues like the narrow three-slat front grille, the sculpted hood and angular headlights seem influenced by the T-Roc and the NMC concept cars. The rear of the car sports sleek tail lamps and dual exhausts, which have been integrated into the bumper. The new equipment list on the new Passat includes LED headlamps, a head-up display, an Audi TT-derived virtual cockpit and a host of new safety features and driver assists.
The European market will get no less than ten engine options for the new Passat with power ranging from 118hp to 276hp. A host of aero tweaks and fuel-saving technologies has seen efficiency figures go up by 20 per cent. A plug-in hybrid variant will be offered with a 1.4-liter TSI petrol unit working in conjunction with an electric motor which will have a combined range of around 960km.
The Passat is Volkswagen Group’s world's highest-volume model series and the 2015 model will make its first public appearance at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, in November. Though the 'B' in the B8 stands for 'B-Segment', the car is positioned as a D-Segment sedan in the Indian market.
The Passat sold in India has always been the European-spec car and this new model is expected to go on sale in India a few months after its international launch. Besides the only other sedan in the segment, the Skoda Superb, it also rivals other SUVs like the Renault Koleos and Chevrolet Captiva.