The decline of mid-size sedan sales led several manufacturers to limit sales for select markets or abandon the segment altogether. Volkswagen chose the prior for the current-generation Passat, but the German automaker didn't want to kill off one of its longest-running nameplates, too.

Volkswagen's solution is to discontinue the sedan for most of Europe and continue the car's lineage as a station wagon. After all, the wagon body (known as the Passat Variant) outsells the sedan in the Old Continent by a hefty margin.

Our friends from the spy pic biz recently spotted the next-generation Passat Variant driving around with its production body. The car is wearing false panels for now, but it's not stopping a few publications from rendering it. got to work and showed what the redesigned wagon might look like with all the false panels off.

The Russian publication reckons the roadgoing future Passat will have upswept headlights like the Golf. There seem to be elements from the China-only Lamando L, albeit not as extreme-looking. The render also reflects the spy photo car's sleeker roofline and longer windows. As for the rear, there is a good chance it will have full-width taillights, a rakish tailgate, and a wide opening. We're also curious what the lesser models might look like since the render is more like an R-Line model.

For now, the next-generation Passat is in early development. There is little information about its powertrain options, but we reckon a range of mild-hybrid gas, plug-in hybrids, and perhaps a diesel for European markets. And while the future of the Passat is still unknown in the US, the raised Alltrack version should be a good fit for the crossover crowd.

Volkswagen USA discontinued the Passat for the 2022 model year. If you still want a four-door Volkswagen, you'll have to go for the smaller Jetta or the upmarket Arteon. But if you still want to have the Passat name stamped on the trunk lid, you'll need to move to Mainland China to get it.

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