By: IOL Motoring Staff

Potsdam, Germany - These are the first official shots of the eighth-generation Volkswagen Passat - with new engines, less weight and the latest assistance, infotainment and convenience systems.

It's difficult to overstate the importance of this model launch; according to VW, at 1.1 million in 2013, the Passat outsells both the Golf and Polo as the group's biggest model worldwide by volume.

As with previous iterations, the new Passat is available in both sedan and estate format, but its proportions are noticeably more dynamic, with a lower body on a longer wheelbase and larger wheels.

At 4767mm overall on a 2791mm wheelbase it has 79mm more between the axles but is 2mm shorter overall; it’s 12mm wider at 1832mm wide and 6mm lower than the old one – and the lightest variant weighs in at 1312kg, 85kg lighter than its predecessor.

Cargo-bay volume is up by 21 litres to 586 on the sedan, and 47 litres on the station wagon, to 650 litres with the rear seats up and 1780 with them folded


New gizmotronics include a fully digital instrument cluster, an extendible head-up display and an app-based rear-seat entertainment set-up for tablet.

Active safety equipment now includes front assist with pedestrian monitoring and city emergency braking, plus three new features that Volkswagen is claiming as world firsts - an emergency assist that stops the car dead in an emergency, a trailer assist to simplify reversing with a trailer, and traffic jam assist, which does exactly what it says on the tin - keep your Passat an appropriate distance behind the slow-moving vehicle in front.


The new Passat will be available in Europe with a choice of 10 direct-injection turbopetrol and diesel engines from 88 kW to 206kW - all Euro 6-compliant, says Volkswagen, with idle stop and regenerative braking standard across the range, and returning up to 20 percent lower fuel-consumption numbers than their predecessors.


1.4 TSI with 92 or 110kW

1.8 TSI with 132kW

2.0 TSI with 162 or 206kW

1.6 TDI with 88kW

2.0 TDI with 110, 140 or 176kW<

1.4 TSI plug-in hybrid with 155kW

For the first time, the range will include a plug-in hybrid, with a 115kW TSI petrol engine mated to an 80kW electric motor and an externally chargeable battery. With a system power output of 155kW it will be Volkswagen's most powerful plug-in hybrid, with a battery-only range of as much as 50km.

Advance sales of the new Passat in Europe will begin next Thursday (10 July) at prices starting from €25 875 (R378 292) for the sedan and €25 950 (R379 389) for the station wagon.

We're waiting on a reply from Volkswagen SA as to when the new Passat will be released in South Africa.