The updated Volkswagen Passat looks set to offer plug-in hybrid technology across its line-up instead of reserving it for the upper end of the range, according to a new report.
Britain's Auto Express claims Volkswagen is planning to offer a less-powerful PHEV powertrain in the refreshed Passat line-up – due to be revealed early next year – making the technology more widely available than the current model.
According to the publication, the new Passat PHEV will pair a 115kW 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an 85kW electric motor, hooked up to a 13kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
Incidentally, this is the same powertrain available in the current GTE, though the battery pack is rated at 9.9kWh for the model on sale today.
The added battery capacity leads Auto Express to speculate all-electric range will be rated at around 71km (44 miles), up from the pre-faceflift GTE's 50-kilometre claim.
Other than minor cosmetic changes to the front and rear, the new Passat will likely get several new technologies and features from the related Arteon liftback, including a head-up display, Emergency Assist – which pulls the vehicle into the emergency lane if the driver becomes unresponsive – along with the latest iteration of Volkswagen's all-digital Active Info instrument binnacle.
Auto Express adds that the current 1.4-litre turbo four offered across the majority of the range will be replaced with the more efficient 1.5-litre engine already offered in models like the smaller Polo and Golf, while the wider line-up of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines will be tweaked to improve efficiency and reduce emissions.
Skoda is also set to reveal a plug-in hybrid version of the related Superb liftback and wagon in 2019, and is said to also take a similar route to parent Volkswagen in offering the powertrain across the range, in Europe at least.
In terms of timing, the report cites Volkswagen's chairman, Herbert Diess, indicating the updated Passat will be revealed 'early next year'.
The Passat facelift will kick-start a big year of reveals for the German brand, which is also set to reveal the eight-generation Golf in the first half of 2019, along with the first production models of its I.D. electric car family.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest.