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Next-generation Volkswagen Passat spied testing ahead of 2023 debut

The all-new B9 generation Volkswagen Passat has been spotted testing in wintery conditions in estate form. 

Volkswagen’s new Passat will be revealed in 2023 and Auto Express understands it could be offered as an estate or hatchback, ditching the saloon model. With market trends prioritising SUVs it wouldn’t be a surprising move, especially with the similarly-sized Arteon saloon sitting just above the Passat. There’s also pressure from below as the latest Golf Estate is larger than ever so versatility and practicality will be priorities for the new model. 

These new spy shots suggest the Passat will be an evolution in design over the current model with a similar strake along the door handles, headlights that feed into the grille and individual brake light clusters rather than the rear light bar featured on the new ID.4 and ID.5. There are also ducts at the side of the lower grille which should improve aerodynamic efficiency.

The Passat will be built in Bratislava using MQB underpinnings alongside the next-generation Skoda Superb. VW’s family car has been moved from its traditional home at Emden in Germany to make way for the ID.4 SUV and production versions of the ID. Vizzion saloon and ID. Space Vizzion estate concepts.

The Passat’s wheelbase is likely to be stretched to match the Superb’s 2.85 metres. While that should translate into more legroom for rear-seat passengers, the extra length will also go towards improving boot space, carving out a new niche for the Passat as the brand’s most practical non-SUV or commercial vehicle-based offering.

All-electric drive will be catered for by the upcoming production version of the ID. Space Vizzion, so the Passat can continue to meet the needs of buyers wanting a traditional power source.

The popularity of diesel in this segment has slipped over recent years, but the Passat will continue with TDI options. The latest version of the brand’s 2.0 TDI turbocharged unit will slot under the bonnet, in states of tune ranging from 148bhp to 197bhp. 4MOTION all-wheel drive will also be available and could appear in a revived Alltrack model. 

Petrol power will play second fiddle, but will be an important bridge towards an expanded plug-in hybrid offering, with two options anticipated.

The entry-level eHybrid model will develop around 200bhp, but an even more powerful GTE model is also likely to go on sale, with a larger battery than the 13kWh unit used in the current Passat GTE. It would enable a much longer all-electric range, possibly up to 60 miles.

Matching the bigger pack would be improved recharging technology, with a move from 3.6kW to 11kW AC charging.

With the 2030 ban on internal combustion engined cars looming, the upcoming Passat could be the last offering with petrol or diesel in the UK. 

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