Exactly 50 years ago, one of the most successful Volkswagen vehicles was launched: the Passat. With more than 34 million units sold worldwide, it is the top-selling Volkswagen of all time after the Golf and ahead of the Beetle. At the world premiere at the 2023 IAA Mobility in Munich, Volkswagen presents all the details of a completely newly developed Passat to the public for the first time. The new Passat will be launched as a versatile Variant in the first quarter of 2024. Clean and powerful – the new design is clearly Passat, clearly Volkswagen and yet clearly new from every perspective. The innovative range of three new plug-in and mild hybrid drives and five turbo petrol and turbo diesel engine variants is characterised by efficiency. The quiet and spacious Passat Variant offers a high level of travel comfort and will be optionally available with new adaptive running gear (DCC Pro) and new ergoActive seats (with pneumatic pressure point massage). Volkswagen has completely newly developed the intuitive operation and progressive features of the fourth-generation modular infotainment matrix (MIB4). The new Passat can also optionally park independently and cover long distances in assisted driving mode.
Progressive MQB evo
The latest evolutionary stage of the modular transverse matrix platform (MQB evo) forms the high-tech basis of the ninth Volkswagen Passat generation. Future customers will benefit from the significant economies of scale offered by this high-tech matrix platform. That is because a host of new systems are used on board this bestselling model and their development costs are shared across all MQB product lines. In this way, Volkswagen is democratising innovations and making them available to hundreds of thousands of vehicle drivers worldwide.
New plug-in and mild hybrid drives
The technical highlights include two completely new plug-in hybrid drives (eHybrid) with a system output of 150 kW (204 PS) and 200 kW (272 PS). In combination with a new 19.7 kWh battery (net energy content), they make all-electric ranges of around 100 km possible. This distance turns the new Passat Variant into an electric vehicle for everyday life. Taking Germany as an example: according to a study published by the Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport, 95 per cent of all car journeys are shorter than 50 kilometres and 99 per cent shorter than 100 km. These journeys can now be driven purely electrically with a Passat Variant eHybrid. In addition, the efficient combination of an electric drive motor and new turbocharged petrol engine (1.5 TSI evo2) ensures overall ranges of around 1,000 km. The Passat will also be available for the first time with a 48 V mild hybrid drive (eTSI with 110 kW / 150 PS). Two turbo petrol (2.0 TSI) engines with 150 kW (204 PS) and 195 kW (265 PS) as well as three turbo diesel (2.0 TDI) engines with 90 kW (122 PS), 110 kW (150 PS) and 142 kW (193 PS) complete the powertrain range. An automatic and efficient direct shift gearbox (DSG) is always standard. The Passat models with an output of 195 kW and 142 kW always have the intelligently controlled 4MOTION all-wheel drive system on board as standard; all other Passat Variant vehicles have front-wheel drive.
High-tech cockpit and running gear
Volkswagen has completely redesigned the interior. Particularly striking is the clearly arranged, large display landscape – stylish, functional and progressive. The technical basis is the MIB4: the latest generation of the modular infotainment matrix enables intuitive operation systematically designed to meet the wishes of Volkswagen drivers. The adaptive chassis control DCC Pro represents a new level of running gear technology; its spread between maximum dynamics and the highest level of comfort sets benchmarks in the mid-sized class. The newly developed ergoActive Plus seats with pneumatic 10-chamber pressure point massage function offer high travel comfort. Thanks to a 50 mm longer wheelbase with also 50 mm more legroom in the rear, a luggage compartment capacity of up to 1,920 litres and convenience systems derived from the Touareg such as the new massage seats, the Passat Variant is also ideally suited as an all-rounder for business and leisure.
Feel at home on board
The Volkswagen Passat Variant is the ideal touring and business vehicle thanks to the interplay of spaciousness, carefully coordinated high-quality materials, pleasant haptics and operability of all elements, high seating comfort and low level of noise while driving. With the new generation of its bestseller, Volkswagen once again has another vehicle in its range where the higher class boundary no longer applies.
New design, new dimensions
Volkswagen has carried the design of the tradition-rich Passat series into the modern era with the debut of the ninth generation. Compared to the predecessor, the surfaces are more sculptural, the lines more dynamic, and the dimensions larger. This is characterised by a wheelbase that is now 50 mm longer (2,841 mm) and thus significantly changes the proportions. The overall length of 4,917 mm corresponds to an additional 144 mm. The width has increased moderately by 20 mm to 1,852 mm. At 1,506 mm, the (with aerial) has remained similar to the predecessor. The longer length with practically unchanged results in more dynamic proportions.
Front end with new LED headlights
The aerodynamic and powerful design of the front of the Passat Variant characterises its superior presence. Every detail is new. Take the bonnet, for example: while the predecessor’s bonnet was higher in the middle than at the sides, the new bonnet is now lower in the middle. It rises sculpturally outwards with sharp lines and forms powerful wings. The new LED headlights, with their two modules, provide a characteristic look in combination with the narrow LED daytime running lights above them. These two daytime running light elements are linked to each other by means of a horizontal LED strip in the radiator grille. The visually continuous light strip gives the Volkswagen a wide and elegant look. Volkswagen will optionally offer the Passat Variant with a new generation of the IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights. These come with a new high-performance main beam that has a significantly increased luminous range. Like the light systems, the four high-quality chrome strips in the lower part of the radiator grille (bumper) emphasise the width of the Passat. At the sides, vertical openings (air curtains) in the bumpers guide air to the wheel housings and optimise the excellent aerodynamics.
Silhouette with a sharp undercut
With its powerful side body surfaces, a sharp undercut as a character line (at the of the door handles), the significantly larger wheelbase and the long side window areas, the Volkswagen Passat Variant exhibits dynamism and elegance all of its own. At the front and back, the undercut and surface design over the wheel housings form powerful shoulder sections in a slim silhouette. The striking D-pillars match this sporty image with their pronounced forward angle and dynamic look. Under the slightly flared wheel housings, the Passat Variant sports up to 19-inch wheels.
Rear end with new horizontal LED strip
Similar to the front end and sides, the rear of the new Passat has a clean and powerful design. The continuous LED tail light clusters, which are used in this product line for the first time, emphasise the width of the body and have a transparent and technical look with their new 3D light signature. In functional terms, the LED elements provide an optimal signal effect. In the upper part of the boot lid, the large roof spoiler and the side air guide elements on the D-pillars stand out. In combination, these aerodynamic features reduce turbulence at the rear and contribute to low energy consumption and long range together with a diffuser below the bumper. Located well down in the bumper itself, there is a wide, robust plastic transverse bar that emphasises the width of the Passat Variant with its externally arranged reflectors.
Minimum drag for maximum efficiency
The new Volkswagen Passat Variant is a five-seater vehicle with a luggage compartment capacity of up to 1,920 litres. And yet, its aerodynamics are better than most sports vehicles. With a CD of 0.25 (predecessor 0.31), it has the best drag coefficient ever for a Volkswagen Variant. The aerodynamics make a significant contribution to the new Passat Variant becoming even more efficient and more economical – crucial factors for a successful business vehicle such as this Volkswagen.
Form follows function
The aerodynamic top values of the new Passat Variant were achieved through the optimal body shape, fine tuning down to the last detail and technical aerodynamic features. The technical details include an electrically controlled radiator blind that provides cooling as needed. The aerodynamic fine tuning is evident wherever you look. In the front section, disruptive air turbulence is minimised by means of air curtains in the bumper; the targeted air flows provide optimum air circulation around the front wheels and cool the brakes. In addition, the underbody up to the rear diffuser was elaborately integrated into the aerodynamic design. The new exterior mirrors are designed to minimise the area of attack for the wind. At the rear, the air guide elements on the D-pillars reduce air turbulence together with the roof spoiler. Sharp separation edges in the tail light clusters and bumper as well as aerodynamically polished rims perfect the air flow.
Clear displays and controls, new night light design
The interior architecture of the new VW Passat Variant systematically implements feedback from Volkswagen customers. The goal was self-explanatory operation. For this reason, the product line features a completely redesigned digital cockpit (digital, configurable instruments) and an equally new infotainment system – both displays together on board the Passat form one visual axis as the central elements of the fourth-generation modular infotainment matrix (MIB4). In detail, the new standard infotainment system display has a size of 285.6 x 160.6 mm (12.9 inches diagonally) with 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. Optionally or depending on the equipment, a display in the format 332.07 x 185.79 mm (15 inches) with 2,240 x 1,260 pixels will be configurable. The visually freestanding display tilted towards the driver is characterised by a newly developed graphic and menu structure that is easy to operate and is self-explanatory. Many system settings can also be controlled using a new, natural IDA voice control function. The instruments in front of the driver have a display diagonal of 260 mm (10.25 inches) with 1,280 x 480 pixels. Thanks to a new surface coating to reduce reflections and glare, the cockpit has a flat design and is integrated into the dash panel like a large screen, because there is no longer a need for an overhang at the top to provide shade.
New windscreen head-up display
Another element of the MIB4 that has also been newly developed is the head-up display of the Passat Variant, which projects essential information for the driver on to the windscreen in the virtual area in front of the vehicle. A simpler head-up display with a smaller extendable projection surface was used previously.
New steering column switches
The dash panel runs in a straight line on a horizontal plane and is characterised by a high-quality and clearly arranged design. The centre console offers more stowage space, because – like on the ID.7 and ID. Buzz models – gear changes are now carried out by means of a steering column switch with an intuitive operating principle: the switch is turned forward to ‘D’ to drive forwards and backward to ‘R’ to reverse, while the parking brake is activated by pressing the side of the switch. And like in the ID.7, for example, a new multifunction steering column switch on the left side is used in the Passat for the turn signal and wiper functions.
More space and high quality
The interior of the new Volkswagen Passat Variant offers even more space than its already generously proportioned predecessor. Thanks to the longer wheelbase, for example, the maximum legroom increases by 50 mm to 947 mm. The luggage compartment capacity has increased by 40 litres to 690 litres (when loaded up to the of the rear seat backrests). The space grows by 140 litres to 1,920 litres when the rear bench seat is folded down. Quality and comfort have both been raised to new levels thanks to the use of new high-grade materials, newly developed seats and effective noise insulation. Particularly in combination with the new acoustic package, the low noise levels on board the Passat Variant are similar to those experienced in the upper mid-sized and premium classes. In addition to the standard acoustic windscreen, double glazing with an acoustic film is used for the side windows of the front and rear seats.
New ergoActive seats with massage function and air conditioning
The VW Passat Variant will be available with new ergoActive front seats as an option. These feature electrical adjustment (up to 14-way, depending on model and equipment) as well as massage and air conditioning functions. The functions include pneumatic four-way lumbar adjustment and, depending on the equipment, a pneumatic three-chamber massage function or 10-chamber pressure point massage function in the backrests. The seats are also equipped with seat heating and ventilation. The even higher-quality leather and climate-controlled massage seats also have automatic seat air conditioning. In addition to the individual settings, the driver and front passenger can activate an automatic mode; here, the temperature and moisture sensors of the seats detect the cooling and/or heating requirement and control the climate accordingly.
eHybrid, eTSI, TSI, TDI, DSG
The Passat Variant will be available with seven different drive types: a mild hybrid petrol engine (eTSI) version that is new for the Passat, two new plug-in hybrid drives (eHybrid), three turbodiesel engine versions (TDI) and two turbocharged petrol engine versions (TSI). All drives are combined with a direct shift gearbox (DSG) as standard. The eTSI (1.5 TSI evo2) delivers an output of 110 kW (150 PS). The two new eHybrid models provide system outputs of 150 kW (204 PS) and 200 kW (272 PS). The two TSI versions of the EA888 evo4 engine series deliver maximum outputs of 150 kW (204 PS) and 195 kW (265 PS) to the DSG. In the case of the three TDIs of the EA288 evo engine series, these are 90 kW (122 PS), 110 kW (150 PS) and 142 kW (193 PS). The TSI engine with 195 kW and the 142 kW TDI will always come with the 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive system.
eHybrid with long electric range
The plug-in hybrid drives are a completely new development. As stated above, they deliver a system power of 150 kW (204 PS) and 200 kW (272 PS). Thanks to the switch to a 1.5-litre high-tech turbocharged petrol engine (1.5 TSI evo2, previously 1.4 TSI) and a new 19.7 kWh battery (net capacity / predecessor: 10.6 kWh), Volkswagen assumes in its forecasts that electric ranges of around 100 kilometres will be possible with the Passat Variant eHybrid (depending on the equipment). This means that on most average daily journeys, both Passat Variant eHybrid versions will become electric vehicles. If necessary, the 1.5 TSI is activated additionally, increasing the range with a full battery and full 45-litre tank to around 1,000 km. The battery is now charged at a home wall box and other AC charging points with 11 kW instead of the previous capacity of 3.6 kW. In addition, both Passat Variant eHybrid models will now also be able to charge new energy at DC fast charging stations with up to 50 kW charging capacity. The 1.5 TSI of the new Passat is a high-tech engine with a variable-geometry turbocharger (VTG) and the highly efficient, economical TSI-evo combustion process.
New mild hybrid drive (eTSI)
The mild hybrid drive (eTSI) offered in the Passat for the first time delivers 110 kW (150 PS). This also has a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder engine (1.5 TSI evo2), which additionally comes with Active Cylinder Management (ACTplus). As a mild hybrid drive, the petrol engine is connected to a 48 V lithium-ion battery and 48 V belt starter generator. The 1.5 eTSI offers particularly good moving-off performance and high efficiency as the engine is repeatedly completely deactivated thanks to the electrical components. In these cases, the Passat coasts without emissions from the engine.
Networked high-tech running gear
The MQB evo provides the basis for a new running gear generation for the Volkswagen Passat Variant. Alongside numerous individual measures, Volkswagen has developed a new generation of the adaptive chassis control DCC for its best-selling model, the optional DCC Pro. In addition, the Passat is equipped with a Vehicle Dynamics Manager for the first time. It controls the functions of the electronic differential locks (XDS) and the lateral dynamics components of the controlled shock absorbers in the DCC Pro.
The handling characteristics are more neutral, stable, agile and precise thanks to wheel-specific braking interventions and wheel-selective adjustments of the shock absorber hardness. General performance improvements are also provided by increased camber stiffness and higher lateral force steering of the four-link rear axle (increased rear axle stability and thus greater driving safety), a new set-up of the electromechanical power steering as well as new anti-roll bars and shock absorbers.
Basic specification with high level of standard equipment
The new Passat will launch in the four equipment lines Passat, Business, Elegance and R-Line. They have all been significantly enhanced compared with previous versions. The Passat basic specification includes features such as the new MIB4 display, Car2X warning system, App Connect (Apple and Android integration), automatic air conditioning, USB-C ports with 45 W charging capacity (front), roof rails (in Black) and numerous assist systems. The latter include Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC;), Side Assist (lane change assist), Front Assist (Autonomous Emergency Braking), Lane Assist (lane keeping system), the oncoming vehicle braking when turning function, Park Distance Control (acoustic and visual warning signals if there are obstacles to the front and rear), Rear View (rear view camera system) and Dynamic Road Sign Display using the front camera. Also standard are LED headlights and LED tail light clusters.
Business for frequent drivers
The Volkswagen Passat Variant is one of the most successful business vehicles in Europe. Volkswagen once again meets the needs of this segment with the Business Class equipment line. From the outside, this Passat can be recognised by premium chrome trim on the side windows, silver-anodised roof rails and chrome elements at the front and rear, among other things. In Germany, dark privacy glass is added for the rear windows. On the inside, the Passat Variant Business is characterised, among other things, by customised seat covers in ArtVelours, own interior applications, partially electric seats with massage function, additional 45-watt USB-C ports in the rear and three-zone automatic air conditioner. Further assist systems additionally increase comfort and safety. These include automatic lighting control (Light Assist), assisted parking (Park Assist) and Travel Assist (partially automated driving). The new IDA voice assistant is additionally standard on the German market.
Elegance and R-Line as the top versions
Volkswagen has positioned the Elegance and R-Line versions above the Business equipment line. With these specifications, the VW Passat Variant can be made either more stylish (Elegance) or more dynamic (R-Line), depending on preference. Compared to the Business version, both lines share additional equipment details such as the new-generation IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights and LED tail light clusters with animated turn signals, seat heating and extended seat massage (12 instead of three pneumatic massage elements), keyless locking and starting system Keyless Access, electrically operated boot lid with Easy Open/Easy Close, more comprehensive background lighting, and voice control for all markets. Both models come with the new Park Assist Plus with memory function as well as the Dynamic Light Assist main-beam control system. Sports seats with integrated head restraints are fitted in the Passat Variant R-Line. The front and rear ends of the Passat Variant R-Line have a sporty R design. Further custom features include specific 17-inch alloy wheels for the Passat Variant Elegance and 18-inch light alloy rims for the R-Line version. In addition, all Passat models can be personalised with a completely new range of equipment packages.