The glory days of the Volkswagen Passat are long gone as the rise of crossovers and SUVs has severely impacted demand for the midsize sedan. It will be discontinued in the United States after 2023 and it's widely believed the MQB-based European model is also on its deathbed. Meanwhile, China is preparing to facelift its local version of the current-generation Passat.
Those who are not quite ready yet to hop on the EV bandwagon will be glad to hear VW has confirmed there will be a next-gen Passat, one that will come with a plug-in hybrid powertrain with 62 miles (100 kilometers) of electric range. Additional details regarding the B9 generation have not been provided by the peeps from Wolfsburg, but a new report from Auto Express aims to shed light on the Opel Insignia rival.
Gallery: VW Passat facelift (Euro Spec) at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show
According to the British magazine, VW is indeed killing the Passat sedan. The revamped model is expected to come exclusively as a wagon, although the report states it could morph into a hatchback. Perhaps the better term would be liftback in the same vein as the Arteon, which is expected to bow out after just one generation.
It is believed the Passat B9 will have a longer wheelbase than today's model to offer Skoda Superb levels of legroom and cargo space. The car is expected to retain the MQB platform and still offer a turbodiesel 2.0-liter engine, complete with all-wheel drive on the high-end versions. It's unclear whether a gasoline unit will be offered on its own or only as part of a PHEV setup. There won't be a purely electric Passat because that role has been attributed to the production version of the ID. Space Vizzion.
Although not mentioned in the report, VW has already confirmed the new Passat will come in 2023 from the plant in Bratislava, Slovakia rather than the Emden factory in Germany where the current-gen model is produced. It will be built alongside the next Superb, and by (supposedly) axing the Passat sedan, there will be less competition between the two.
The VW Group won't have to worry about the archrival Mondeo for much longer as Ford will phase out its midsize sedan and wagon duo in March 2022. On the other hand, Stellantis is likely cooking up a replacement for today's Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, one that logic tells us will be mechanically related to the beautiful Peugeot 508.