2015 Volkswagen Passat GTE Plug-in Hybrid Revealed ahead of Paris

If you need a car that's very spacious and has executive features, but isn't so harmful on the environment, Volkswagen's recently revealed Passat model might be perfect for you. Based on an all-new Mk8 platform, the Passat GTE features a brand new plug-in hybrid drivetrain and will make its official debut during this week's Paris Motor Show.
2015 Volkswagen Passat GTE 16 photos
Photo: Volkswagen
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Traditionally, the Passat has been a motorway cruiser, best served with 2-liter diesel engines. But fleet buyers need something with ultra low emissions, which the Passat GTE delivers: 45 g/km.

It's not lacking in power either. The drivetrain combines a 1.4-liter turbo with an electric motor, just like on the Golf GTE. However, total output has been increased from 204 PS to 218 PS. The petrol engine itself delivers 156 PS and is also very efficient, thanks to cylinder deactivation technology. Its job is made easier by a 115 PS (85 kW) electric motor that can take care of propulsion all by itself.

Volkswagen claims that on a full charge of the battery and a topped-up tank, the Passat GTE can do up to 1,000 km (622 miles). To be honest, this isn't a hugely impressive number, matched by some diesel models. But that's because the Passat GTE's job is to do short electric-only journeys.

What does impress us is what the Passat can do with its power. 0 to 100 km/h sprints take under 8 seconds and the top speed is a very respectable 220 km/h (137 mph). The only real compromise you're going to make is actually buying the Passat GTE in the first place. Its Golf equivalent is the second most expensive model in the range and we expect the same to be true in this case. Both estate and sedan variants will be available, most likely from just over €40,000.

The competition

While Volkswagen could claim the Passat GTE is the first plug-in hybrid in the segment developed in Europe, there's no shortage of competitors. Ford, for instance, offers the Fusion Energi in America, powered by a 2-liter Atkinson-cycle mill. It's the same size as the Passat and we've heard it will be offered as a Mondeo in Europe starting next year.

Of course, there are also Japanese rivals, like the Honda Accord PHEV, but Toyota is mysteriously absent from the plug-in sedan segment at the moment.

Remake of a classic

If the shape of this new VW model is unfamiliar, know that it's because the German company recently introduced an all-new Passat, based on the MQB platform. It's lighter, more efficient and comes with a host of new technologies, including an all-digital speedometer. The highlight of the engine range is a 240 horsepower 2-liter TDI fitted with twin-turbocharging. Because of its high output, the new 7-speed DSG it's fitted with and all-wheel drive, it's capable of sprinting to 100 km/h in around 6 seconds.

From the mid-grade Comfortline upwards, all Passats get standard all-LED headlights, which are also a first for this segment. The Passat GTE, however, will be fully-loaded, from navigation to a special partial leather seat design.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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