Volkswagen has revealed eighth-generation versions of the Passat.
The new Passat will go on sale in the UK on October 7 with deliveries beginning in January 2015. Prices are likely to start at around £22,000 – £1,000 higher than those for the present model.
The new car is a little longer, lower and wider than the slightly unconventional current model, providing more head, leg and luggage space.
It’s thought that VW is attempting to move it more upmarket, so that it’s not just competing with the Mondeo and Insignia, but also the latest BMW 3-series and Mercedes-Benz C-class.
VW claims the 1.4-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engines available at launch are up to 20% more fuel-efficient, aided by an 85kg reduction in the car’s overall weight.
A plug-in hybrid e-Passat will be added in time, giving the car a theoretical range of more than 600 miles and the ability to travel up to 31 miles on battery power alone.
VW says the new Passat will be available with advanced safety systems and greater levels of connectivity.
One of its novelties is a self-parking system that also works when a trailer is attached.
The Passat will be VW’s first car available with a head-up display. The system, similar to technology pioneered on fighter planes, projects data such as speed and navigation instructions onto a retractable screen over the steering wheel to keep the driver’s focus on the road.
Other high-tech safety options include functions that can bring the car to a halt if the driver is incapacitated.
Launched in 1973, the Passat is VW’s third-best seller globally, selling 1.1 million a year, mainly in China, Europe and America. UK sales currently run at 23,000 a year.