New design, same old platform.

Volkswagen won’t turn its entire attention towards SUV and crossover models, and that’s clearly visible from the recent launch of the all-new Jetta. Soon, it will be joined by a new generation Passat for the U.S. market, and these are the first teaser images of the car.

The sketches reveal we will be dealing with a significantly sportier appearance compared to today’s model. The front end features a bold grille flanked by sharp headlights, and the overall layout gives us some Arteon vibes. The back, in turn, appears to be inspired by the new Jetta with its short overhang and sleek taillights.

If the 2020 Passat already looks larger than its predecessor, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. During our visit at VW’s Phoenix-area facility to sample a 2020 Passat prototype, the automaker confirmed the new sedan is larger than the outgoing model due to the U.S. safety regulations.

However, under the slightly grown body, you won’t be able to find anything new. The new Passat rides on the platform of its predecessor, which basically means no AWD option will be available and no room for electrified bits. Also, the Passat is permanently saying goodbye to the V6 unit.

But why is Volkswagen sticking with the old platform? “This segment is shrinking, and we figured that we can give the customers all they need with the current platform instead of spending to switch to a new one,” product manager for Passat, Kai Oltmanns, explained. As much as we are disappointed that the new Passat is not making a switch to the MQB architecture, we must admit VW has a point here.

2020 Volkswagen Passat Prototype: First Drive
2020 Volkswagen Passat Prototype: First Drive
2020 Volkswagen Passat Prototype: First Drive

The 2020 model will be offered in a total of four trim levels with options like lane assist, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive cruise control, ambient lighting, and navigation to be available on mid-tier trims this time around. The vehicle should debut early next year and go on sale a couple of months later. Pricing is not available at the moment.

Source: Volkswagen

Gallery: 2020 Volkswagen Passat Prototype: First Drive