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Detroit show: Volkswagen facelifts US Passat sedan

US-market sedan precedes ‘significant’ Volkswagen Passat facelift due in November

Volkswagen logo15 Jan 2019

VOLKSWAGEN revealed the US version of the facelifted Passat sedan at the Detroit motor show overnight, likely previewing some of the updates due for the Australian mid-sizer earmarked to enter showrooms in November.
 
Speaking to GoAuto, Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA) general manager of corporate communications Paul Pottinger said “significant” revisions will be made to the local Passat sedan and wagon line-up, including the rugged Alltrack.
 
He added that specific details, including pricing and specification, are being finalised this week and will be announced at a media event next month.
 
With the exclusion of its front end, the US-market Passat sedan looked very different inside and out prior to its facelift compared to the current Australian model that is instead based on European examples, which ride on Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform.
 
However, the two have somewhat converged, with the US upgrade ushering in a dashboard and centre stack that are very similar in design to those found in the Australian-market Passat sedan.
 
Spy shots out of Europe suggest the local model could retain its side profile and glasshouse designs, meaning it won’t adopt the new coupe-style silhouette of its US counterpart.
 
The pair might, however, feature a similar front end that closely aligns with the German brand’s new signature look, which was most recently introduced on the third-generation Touareg large SUV.
 
In a press release from December last year, Volkswagen said the next step in the European-market Passat’s evolution will take place at the end of this month, suggesting it will be previewed ahead of its likely international debut at the Geneva motor show in March.
 
Technology-wise, the Passat is expected to step up with the glass touchscreen infotainment system and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster from the mechanically related Arteon mid-size sedan.
 
Sales of the Passat sedan and wagon took a significant hit last year, with 1804 examples sold – a 26.8 per cent decrease over the 2463 deliveries made in 2017.
 
Nonetheless, the Passat retained its position as the fourth best-selling mid-size car in the sub-$60,000 segment, trailing the Toyota Camry (15,269 units), Mazda6 (3328) and Ford Mondeo (1914).

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