Minor tweaks give the sedan some street cred, but it’s primarily an appearance package.
You may recall a Passat GT Concept that appeared in the Volkswagen booth at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. It’s taken a bit over a year to see fruition, but the production version is finally showing up in Detroit with this, the 2018 VW Passat GT. Looking back on those concept photos, the production version is darn near a carbon copy, save for the concept’s bold GT graphics missing on the sides. So what does that mean for this new sporty Passat?
For starters, the GT gets a subtle-yet-noticeable injection of sport, with over 20 visual enhancements to the interior and exterior. Standard LED headlight and daytime running lamps are fitted up front, along with the bumper borrowed from the R-Line. A black honeycomb grille replaces the stock unit, with the whole shebang surrounded by red trim – the definitive color of all things GT.
More black accents are found with the side mirror and door trim, along with subtle GT fender badges and a roof that gets a full black makeover. A small black spoiler with more black trim on the bumper is found at the rear, and the LED tail lights are slightly darkened as well. The spiffed-up Passat also gets cutouts down low for special exhaust tips that are part of an "acoustic package". We aren’t quite sure what to make of that, but the red brake calipers behind 19-inch wheels remind us this isn’t a standard Passat At least, in the looks department.
Inside, driver and passengers will notice piano black trim for the center console and vents. Carbon-fiber trim extends the full length of the dash and surrounds the standard Passat infotainment system. The headliner is black, the seats are black leatherette with gray inserts and contrast stitching, and the steering wheel is wrapped in black leather. The special GT door sills, however, are aluminum.
Features are typical upscale Passat with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Volkswagen Car-Net App Connect tech and the like all standard, though the GT does get two USB ports – one for front and back seat passengers. Underneath is typical V6 Passat as well, meaning the 3.6-liter VR6 engine with 280 horsepower (208 kW) and 258 pound-feet (350 Nm) of torque. Shifting is done via the six-speed DSG Tiptronic automatic, with paddle shifters on the wheel for manual selection. VW says the suspension is lowered but doesn’t specify by how much, or what exactly is different.
The Passat GT will be a limited-run model based off the R-Line. Those who enjoy color will be disappointed to hear that only white, silver, gray, and black finishes are available. However, with prices starting at $29,090 plus $850 destination, it will offer a cheaper entry point into the V6 Passat world.
The Passat GT should arrive to dealers in the second quarter of 2018.
Gallery: 2018 Volkswagen Passat GT
VOLKSWAGEN UNVEILS SPORTY 2018 PASSAT GT SPECIAL MODEL AT THE
NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
GT combines the powerful VR6® engine with a lowered suspension and
design enhancements to create the most aggressive looking Passat yet
• Limited-run model adds more than 20 sporty interior and exterior enhancements to Passat
• 3.6-liter VR6 engine is paired with a lowered suspension and sport exhaust
• Designed at Volkswagen’s Engineering and Planning Center in Chattanooga, Tenn.
• Pricing starts at $29,090
Detroit, Mich. – Today, Volkswagen of America, Inc., debuted the 2018 Passat GT special model at the North American International Auto Show. The production model, previewed by a concept at Automobility LA in 2016, was designed by the company’s North American engineering hub in Chattanooga, Tennessee, based on extensive feedback from U.S. customers and dealers.
“The Passat GT illustrates how the North American Region can shape Volkswagen vehicles specifically for the U.S. market,” said Dr. Matthias Erb, Chief Engineering Officer, North American Region, Volkswagen. “Combining a local perspective with our global engineering expertise allows us to create vehicles that meet the needs and desires of customers here.”
The Passat GT joins the Passat lineup for model year 2018 as a limited-run special model based off the R-Line® trim. It will be available in four exterior colors—Pure White, Reflex Silver, Platinum Grey, and Deep Black.
Starting at the front, Passat GT differentiates itself from standard Passat models with standard LED headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs). It borrows the R-Line® bumper and adds a honeycomb grille, GT badge, and a red accent line, reminiscent of the high-performance Golf GTI. A sport suspension gives it a more planted stance and cements the aggressive look.
Moving around the side of the vehicle, the GT receives sporty touches from top to bottom. A black roof is complimented by black mirror caps and black window and door trim. Two-tone 19-inch “Tornado” wheels are accentuated with red-painted brake calipers, another nod to Volkswagen’s performance heritage.
At the back, the Passat GT’s accents continue with a black spoiler and blackened LED taillights. The rear fascia also includes black bumper trim and a double exhaust with an acoustic package.
Inside, the GT features piano black center console and vent trim, carbon fiber optic décor, black headliner, and aluminum GT-badged sills. Seating surfaces are black leatherette with Moonrock Gray inserts and contrast stitching. Standard interior comfort features include: a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 8-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, dual-zone Climatronic® automatic climate control, and heated side mirrors.
To keep passengers connected, the Passat GT features a Composition Media infotainment unit with 6.3-inch capacitive touchscreen display and standard Bluetooth® for compatible devices, Voice Control, and Volkswagen Car-Net® App-Connect technology that offers compatible smartphone integration with the three major platforms—Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®. GT models feature two USB ports—one in the center console and one in the rear seat console. SiriusXM® Satellite Radio is standard and includes a three-month trial.
The new Passat GT will be powered by Volkswagen’s 3.6-liter VR6® engine, making it a true sport sedan. Producing an impressive 280 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm with regular fuel, it offers power and luxury-class driving comfort with surprising fuel economy—EPA estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. Shifting is handled by a standard six-speed DSG® automatic transmission with Tiptronic®, which features steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Every 2018 Passat model comes with the People First Warranty, America’s best bumper-to-bumper new vehicle limited warranty. The warranty provides coverage for six-years or 72,000-miles (whichever occurs first), and the warranty can be transferred to subsequent owners throughout the remainder of its duration.
The 2018 Passat GT is expected to arrive at U.S. Volkswagen dealers in the second quarter of 2018. Pricing for the Passat GT starts at $29,090. The destination charge is an additional $850.