The Volkswagen Passat sold in North America uses an older, less-expensive platform to Passats sold in the rest of the world, which use Volkswagen Group's modern MQB platform. That won't be the case for the next generation of the mid-size sedan, according to a report out of the United Kingdom.
Autocar reported Monday that VW has given the green light for a global Passat due around 2023. This new Passat will reportedly be developed alongside a new generation of the Skoda Superb, utilizing an updated version of the MQB platform.
According to Autocar, the new Passat will offer the choice of sedan and wagon body styles, as well as the choice of mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric powertrains. Despite the availability of battery-electric power in the new Passat, Autocar reported that VW will still go ahead with a similarly sized ID-badged model based on 2018's ID Vizzion concept car. Throw in the Arteon and that makes three mid-size sedans in VW's future lineup. Part of the reason for the sedan-rich lineup is strong demand for the body style remaining in China.
VW will attempt to address the issue by making the Passat bigger and more practical (think wider and taller than the current model) to distinguish it from the low and sleek Arteon, according to one of Autocar's sources. There will also likely be a repeat of the Passat Alltrack soft-roader model to further distinguish the Passat.
It isn't clear if the new Passat will be sold in North America, and there's a good chance we won't see it. Sales of the Passat in the United States reached just 14,123 units in 2019 as buyers turned more toward crossover SUVs.