The Volkswagen Passat GT Concept will make its in-the-flesh debut at the Los Angeles motor show this week.

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Designed by Volkswagen's North American arm, the Passat GT is, according to the Matthias Erb, the region's chief engineering officer, meant to be an "early example of how the new Volkswagen North American Region will meet the needs and desires of American customers going forward".

The Passat GT Concept is based on the Passat that's sold almost exclusively in North America and China. Based on an older platform, not the more modern MQB toolkit, the Passat GT Concept rides on 19-inch alloy wheels and suspension that's been lowered by around 15mm.

Styling changes include red trim for the grille and headlights, a honeycomb cover for the lower air intake, tinted tail-lights, LED headlights, red brake callipers, a subtle boot lip spoiler, and black wing mirrors, rubbing strips and window surrounds.

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Inside, the Passat GT Concept has faux carbon-fibre trim, black headliner, piano black panels for the centre tunnel, and sportier seats with black and grey leather upholstery and contrasting stitching.

While the Passat GT Concept may borrow some styling cues from the Golf GTI, it doesn't feature an upgraded drivetrain.

Under the bonnet, the GT Concept is powered by the same 3.6-litre VR6 engine that's already available in the American Passat. When fed with premium fuel, the VR6 engine develops 209kW of power and 350Nm of torque.

That's all delivered to the front wheels a via a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

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In the wake of the Dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen's regions were given wider latitude to run their businesses.

Erb notes, “We have the freedom and the responsibility to shape future North American vehicles here in the US, combining engineering resources from around the world with our unique perspective and talented local team.”