The example shown here, spied by CarAdvice reader 'tuzii' around 20 kilometres from Volkswagen Australia headquarters, is badged as a diesel-powered 2.0TDI BlueMotion model.
Speaking with CarAdvice in October last year, Volkswagen Australia managing director John White said that the delay is due largely to a staggered global rollout, driven by the Passat’s move to Volkswagen’s new ‘MQB’ platform.
And, with Australia’s mid-sized car market shrinking over the years - despite a small resurgence year-to-date in 2015 to 48,434 registrations against 44,665 for the same period in 2014 - Volkswagen has prioritised other markets ahead of ours.
“That segment in Australia is not as important a segment as it is in other markets in terms of its size,” White told CarAdvice in October.
“This is a brand new car, new architecture, and your production curve is [gradual]. I’m comfortable when we’re getting it.”
As an all-new model, the 2016 ‘B8’ Passat sedan is a tiny 2mm shorter and a slightly more significant 12mm wider than its predecessor, the ‘B7’, while a new 2790mm wheelbase - 79mm longer than before - means that the passenger space has grown by 33mm.
A wagon body will also again be offered, and boot space has increased in both, up 21 litres in the sedan to 586 litres, while the wagon’s 650 litres (seats up) represents a 47-litre increase. Lay the rear seats flat and that grows to 1780 litres.
Australian specifications are still to be revealed, but, internationally, the new Passat range can be had with 10 different engines and tunes. On the petrol front, outputs range from 89kW to 209kW. For diesel buyers the most powerful engine has 179kW on offer.
A plug-in hybrid ‘GTE’ model will also be offered, although that variant is not expected to come to Australia.
The new Passat makes its Australian debut next month. Watch for CarAdvice’s full review, and catch up on all the details below.