Even though VW has already updated the Euro-spec Passat for the 2018 model year, a slightly redesigned version can be seen here undergoing tests while trying to hide its mid-cycle styling mods.
This marks the first time we’ve seen this prototype out and about, and judging by its camouflage, changes compared to the current iteration of the car appear to be few and far between, at least as far as looks are concerned.
Don’t expect anything drastic
We know what you’re thinking. What if the facelifted Passat is going to look a little bit more like the Arteon? Apparently, that’s not going to happen. Despite the camouflage, we can tell that the shape of the grille, and possibly the headlights as well, is more or less the same as it was before.
The only thing that’s different about the front end is the bumper, which looks a bit sportier than any of the designs found on the current car. As for the rear end, we can already spot new taillight graphics, although the overall shape of the cluster remains the same.
Same goes for the interior
There’s little chance that VW would upgrade the Passat’s cabin considerably. Tech like you’d find on the all-new Touareg will likely stay on the all-new Touareg, at least until the next-generation Passat, which is a long ways away.
Still, the 2019 model should indeed come with minor tweaks here and there, such as obtaining the brand’s latest version of the “Virtual Cockpit” and getting improved connectivity, new materials, and a newer infotainment system too. Also, the German automaker will almost certainly take this opportunity to make the Passat an actively safer car.
More range for the GTE PHEV model, new 1.5 TSI
VW plans to introduce their new 1.5-liter TSI that’s already in use in the Golf and other models. It replaces the current 1.4 TSI gasoline unit and is expected to deliver 150 horses. Reports also suggest that the GTE plug-in hybrid version could be upgraded so that it will offer a longer EV range. Meanwhile, a new turbocharged V6 unit for a flagship R version could join the mix too.
The 2019 facelifted VW Passat will be unveiled this fall, taking the fight to the likes of the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, Ford Mondeo, Renault Talisman, Toyota Avensis, Mazda6 and Peugeot 508.
Article updated with new spy photos and details