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by Tim Beissmann

The upcoming eighth-generation Volkswagen Passat looks set to ditch the conservative styling of its predecessor in favour of a significantly sleeker, coupe-inspired design.

Official sketches of the 2015 Volkswagen Passat reveal the new large sedan’s low-slung, aerodynamic body. Its shallow glasshouse and heavily raked windscreen and rear window step away from the more upright styling of the outgoing Passat, appearing closer to the Volkswagen CC ‘four-door coupe’.

The new Passat’s front-end is reminiscent of the brand’s recent CrossBlue Coupe and T-Roc SUV concepts, with the headlights and grille integrated into a slim, broad, V-shaped wing. The horizontal grille slats extend into the headlights, similar to those of the Golf GTI and R hot-hatches, while a single chrome slat and horizontal fog lights add extra width to the design.

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Bulging wheel arches create a beefed-up, muscular stance, though spy shots of the new Passat captured late last year suggest those design lines are not likely to transition from sketchpad to showroom, with the test car appearing more slab-sided.

The rear features sleeker tail-lights with sharper angles and thin, wide reflector strips and tailpipes at the lower corners of the bumper – design details common between the sketches and last year’s spied prototype.

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German publication Auto Motor und Sport reports the new Volkswagen Passat will be available with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster – likely the same system seen in the new Audi TT but with software to suit a VW product – as well as new infotainment systems and a head-up display.

The Passat’s powertrain line-up will include a new 176kW twin-turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. Reports claim it will produce 500Nm of torque and consume roughly 5.0 litres of fuel per 100km on the combined cycle when teamed with a dual-clutch automatic transmission.

A plug-in hybrid variant utilising the brand’s 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine and an electric motor is also expected to join the range from next year.

The next Passat will become the largest vehicle on the car maker’s versatile MQB platform, which is already used by the Golf and a number of other Volkswagen Group products.

The Volkswagen Passat is set to debut at October’s Paris motor show before arriving in Australia showrooms in 2015.




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