The Volkswagen Passat in sedan form is no longer available in both Europe and the United States. And while in America the Passat nameplate is gone for good, on the Old continent you can still buy the eighth-generation model as a wagon. Actually, Volkswagen has no plans to retire the Passat in Europe and we have the first spy photos depicting an early mule for the successor of the outgoing generation.

If the car from the attached gallery below looks familiar to you, that’s because this is a prototype using the body of the Passat that’s still available at VW’s European showrooms. There’s no need for camouflage as this design doesn’t actually correspond with the way the new Passat will look like. It may look boring and pointless to talk about, though there are interesting things worth pointing out.

Gallery: VW Passat (B9) Euro-spec first spy photos

First and foremost, look at the section between the front and the rear doors. This very rough shape hints at a longer wheelbase for the new Passat and that’s something we’ve already heard from preliminary reports. Also, the wheel arches appear to be slightly larger and the way the wheels seem to be sitting more inward could be indicative of a wider track, too. There’s also something weird going on with the door handles.

We don’t know what’s hiding under the hood, though there’s a large exhaust at the back sitting perpendicularly to the vehicle with the pipes pointing down towards the ground. This is usually the exhaust layout used by diesel-powered cars in Europe, though that’s not a firm confirmation this prototype has a TDI engine. From what we know, however, when the production model arrives, it will be available with mild-hybrid gasoline and diesel motors, as well as a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

The new Passat will be available only as a wagon and a more rugged Alltrack version is also in the cards - or at least this is what reports from different outlets claim. The family hauler from Wolfsburg will be developed together with the next generation Skoda Superb and the two will be built together in Slovakia. We expect to start seeing prototypes with production bodies later this year, so stay tuned for more Passat spy photos very soon.

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