New Passat will be positioned more upmarket in order to compete with the likes of BMW’s 3-Series and the Audi A4
Under the hood, a replacement for the VR6 engine will be in place, putting out close to 300hp (224kW) from a displacement of 3.0L. To improve mileage and maintain power, the new engine will also be using direct injection, while the rest of the powertrain lineup is expected to benefit from some form of forced induction as well. Other models will include a new hybrid as well as a high-performance diesel with AWD.
To give the Passat some much needed panache, VW will be pulling out all the stops to make the next-generation a technological showcase, with features that should have the traditional German manufacturers feeling a little worried.
Expected to debut in late 2011 as a 2012 model, the next-generation Passat is tipped to feature a host of new technologies, including airless tires, a wiperless window cleaning system, and an advanced user interface. There may also be an electronic stability system with a feature that automatically offers counter-steering assistance in adverse driving conditions.
One year after the launch of the Passat sedan will be the station wagon. This will be followed closely by a new high-performance model to replace the current R36.