Lightweight Volkswagen Passat plug-in hybrid gets 600-mile range

Volkswagen’s all-new Passat isn’t due to be revealed until July, but the German automaker has already confirmed that a plug-in hybrid version will be offered.

Anticipated to use to the same drivetrain as the Volkswagen Golf GTE we experienced earlier this year, the Passat plug-in hybrid will boast a total range of around 600 miles, 31 miles of which can be undertaken using electricity alone.

The Golf GTE, which will not go on sale in the US, achieves its 583-mile range using 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline engine and a 101hp electric motor. Performance is strong, with total power output at 201hp and a sprint from 0 to 60mph in 7.6 seconds – marginally faster than the BMW i3 Range Extender.

There is, however, a chance that the plug-in hybrid Passant will use a new high-performance bi-turbo diesel engine that develops 240hp and significant torque instead. So-equipped, the Passat would be a very quick car, particularly with torque-fill from the electric motor.

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Despite these aggressive renderings, the eight-generation Passat is unlikely to stray too far from the path it currently walks in terms of design, but changes underneath mean that fuel economy is expected to improve by 20 percent across the range. Volkswagen also says that while the new car will be fractionally smaller than the current model, interior space will improve.

While European sales commence later this year, so far Volkswagen hasn’t confirmed the Passat Plug-in Hybrid for the US. Should it become available stateside, however, competition would come in the form of the Ford Fusion Energi, Honda Accord PHEV, and possibly a similar version of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Further details of the Passat Plug-in Hybrid will become available in July.