It was only earlier this week when we talked about Volkswagen’s plans to pause the production of the U.S.-spec Passat for two weeks this spring, and today we have fresh new details about its European counterpart. The Wolfsburg-based manufacturer has just announced a redesigned version of the Euro-spec Passat will be launched on the market very soon.
During his speech at the annual Volkswagen Media Conference, Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Volkswagen brand, has revealed the facelifted Passat is almost ready to hit dealerships across the Old continent, without revealing basically any other information.
“The redesigned Passat is on the starting blocks for Europe. As usual, the Passat will also be available as Variant and hybrid models.”
As opposed to the U.S. Passat, the European variant of the model is based on the clever modular MQB platform. The eight generation of the D-segment vehicle (according to the European nomenclature) was launched in November 2014 as “a premium car without the premium price.” The vehicle is available as a traditional sedan and as a practical wagon, as well as a rugged Alltrack wagon.
Currently, depending on the market, the engine range consists of three gasoline and three diesel motors, all equipped with a turbocharger. Power ranges from 118 horsepower (88 kilowatts) for the entry-level 1.6 TDI to 276 hp (206 kW) for the range-topping 2.0 TSI. There’s also a GTE hybrid version, which uses a 1.4-liter gas engine combined with a compact 115-hp (85-kW) electric motor.
Don’t expect major changes in that department, but the CO2 and fuel consumption numbers might be slightly improved. Also, Volkswagen’s new 1.5-liter TSI could be added to the lineup to replace the aging 1.4 TSI.
The Passat is still on top of Europe’s D-segment with more than 180,000 deliveries last year, followed by the Skoda Superb, Opel Insignia, Ford Mondeo, and Renault Talisman.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are guided by our strategy, which is why we continue to pick up the pace with its implementation. Our focus in 2018 is on our model and technology offensive, the turnaround in the regions and further improvement in our competitiveness.
A total of 22 new vehicles will be launched this year, 9 of which in China alone. On the chart you can see a few of these. The focus is on SUVs and electric vehicles.
In China, the long Tiguan will be introduced as a plug-in version. Other vehicles include the new Bora as a fully electric vehicle. The e-Golf, which we previously imported from Europe, is produced locally as of this year.
In the USA, we already introduced the Jetta at the beginning of the year. As an addition to the sedan segment, in the spring we are introducing our luxury sedan in the USA, the Arteon.
The redesigned Passat is on the starting blocks for Europe. As usual, the Passat will also be available as Variant and hybrid models. And at the end of the year, our compact city SUV, the T-Cross, is to follow.
Next week, we are introducing our brand's flagship SUV, the new Touareg. For the first time, a vehicle will be debuted in China. The first motoring journalists recently had an opportunity to drive the vehicle, and they were impressed with its technology, design and handling. For its size, the vehicle has become very easy to handle and thus emphasizes our commitment to high-quality, innovative and dynamic vehicles of the luxury class.
In August, a new compact SUV will be introduced in China that has been developed together with our joint venture partner SAIC. We have high expectations for that vehicle. The people's SUV – currently the working title – is expected to be an important part of our SUV offer next to the Tiguan. On that basis, we are rolling out the people's SUV worldwide. From 2020, we are expanding production to Argentina, Mexico and Russia. We anticipate an annual sales volume of around 400,000 vehicles in total per year.
The T-Roc is set to become a family of models. You are already familiar with the SUV model. Added to that, we are now bringing out a convertible model, with market launch planned for the beginning of 2020. Development is underway, and the location for production is also set. Our new convertible will be produced in Osnabrück. This will allow the staff to fully utilize their many years of experience with convertibles.
The key project is and remains of course the preparation of our electric offensive.