Prepare to say goodbye to the German-built Passat because the next-generation model will be assembled in Slovakia alongside the equivalent Skoda Superb. Volkswagen's midsize car has been spotted once again testing as a wagon, maybe because rumor has it the sedan is going to be discontinued. The charging port on the front fender on the driver's side reveals the electrified nature of the estate by featuring a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
In typical VW fashion, the prototype has some clever camouflage to cover the front grille, headlights, and taillights. It's there to make the test vehicle look an awful lot like the outgoing Passat. This sensation is amplified by the "fog lights," which are nothing more than stickers slapped onto the front bumper. At the back, the apron seems to be mischievously hidden as well.
2023 VW Passat Variant PHEV spy photos
The side profile reveals the car's true identity because the greenhouse is slightly different, especially if you look at the shape of the quarter glass. In addition, the recess in the door panel for the handle is wider than before as it extends across the entire width of the handle itself. From the spy shots depicting the vehicle's front fascia, you can also observe the back of the infotainment. Much like the upcoming Golf facelift, the Passat is switching to a tablet to echo the ID.3 and ID.4 electric models.
Riding on an evolution of the MQB platform, the mainstream family hauler will effectively be the last Passat to be offered with combustion engines. These have been engineered to meet Euro 7 regulations slated to come into effect in the next few years. VW won't have to worry too much about rivals what with the Ford Mondeo and Renault Talisman discontinued while the Opel Insignia is also bowing out this year. Its biggest adversary will in fact be the Superb, which Skoda has confirmed to continue in both liftback and wagon body styles.
Those who are ready to jump on the electric bandwagon should know there will be a similarly sized EV as a production version of the 2022 ID. Aero and 2018 ID. Vizzion concepts. The MEB-based car is coming in the second half of next year in China, with Europe and the United States to follow. If the 2019 ID. Space Vizzion is any indication, a more practical wagon could be on the way.