One can only hope the next-gen U.S. Passat will look that good.

Volkswagen has unveiled a brand new generation of the Passat sedan for the Chinese market. While that’s not the most exciting news, it is an important launch as it could be previewing the upcoming next-generation Passat for the United States.

But first things first. The new China-bound Passat is vastly different than the current American Passat and the model with the same name sold in Europe. We don’t know its exact dimensions, but it appears to be larger than both its international brothers. It’s easily visible from the interior photos that the legroom at the back is significantly larger than on the rest of the trio.

In terms of design, the Chinese Passat looks like a cheaper version of the Arteon, especially at the front where a similarly-shaped radiator grille is flanked by a pair of good-looking headlights. The side profile is sleek and at the back there are slight liftback influences, which gives the overall body proportions a nice touch. Don’t let the sloped roofline fool you though – it’s a traditional sedan with a small trunk opening.

2018 Volkswagen Passat (Chinese-spec)
2018 Volkswagen Passat (Chinese-spec)

Back to the U.S. Passat, while Europe is already enjoying an MQB-based model, and is even expecting a refreshed model before the year’s end, customers in America have to suffice with a model based on an older platform. That’s about to change next year when a brand new MQB-based Passat will reach dealerships together with a couple of new SUVs underpinned by the same architecture.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen has the sporty Passat GT on sale featuring over 20 visual enhancements to the interior and exterior, as well as standard LED headlights and daytime running lamps. Underhood is the familiar 3.6-liter V6 engine of the company with 280 horsepower (208 kW) and 258 pound-feet (350 Nm) of torque mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Unfortunately, that model won't be available for the 2019 model year.

Source: Volkswagen via VW Vortex

Gallery: 2018 Volkswagen Passat (Chinese-spec)