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Volkswagen Passat: first look at sleeker mid-sized sedan

A prototype of the next-generation Volkswagen Passat has been spied, giving us our first look at the German manufacturer's forthcoming medium car.

Captured by CarAdvice's spy photographers in Spain, the Passat sedan test car wears production body panels beneath its heavy camouflage wrap, suggesting Volkswagen is in the final stages of development of the eighth-generation model that’s expected to be revealed in the second half of 2014.

Visible through the psychedelic black and white swirls is the new Passat’s horizontal grille and headlights, which (as expected) appear set to evolve the design of those of the current car rather than introduce a dramatic new look.

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Similarly shaped LED tail-lights with darker lenses inject fresh attitude to the rear, as do the broad twin chrome-tipped tailpipes that sit at the lower corners of the bumper.

Obvious in the images is the prototype’s significantly shorter overhangs, which in particular gives the new Passat a much less front-heavy look.

Its rear windscreen is also more heavily raked than the current car’s, creating a sleeker profile that appears to take inspiration from the Passat-based CC ‘four-door coupe’.

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The all-new B8-series Volkswagen Passat will become the largest vehicle on the car maker’s versatile MQB platform, which is currently used by the Golf and will also find its way beneath the next-generation city-sized Polo hatchback.

The new lightweight platform is expected to cut between 70-100kg from the Passat’s kerb weight, which measures from 1480kg in current B7-series guise. The platform is also more space efficient, which should translate to more room for passengers and increased boot capacity.

The new-generation Passat is also expected to be available exclusively with turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, ranging in capacity from 1.4 to 2.0 litres. The new engines promise to contribute to improved fuel economy figures, as will the Passat plug-in hybrid variant that will join the line-up after its initial launch.

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The Passat will continue to be offered in sedan and wagon body styles, while all-wheel-drive will also remain an option in overseas markets.

Reports suggest the new Volkswagen Passat could debut at next September’s Paris motor show before reaching showrooms in 2015.

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