The new Passat is one of the most innovative cars in its class. Equipped with progressive drive, assistance and infotainment systems, it is high-tech encapsulated in a powerful design with sharp proportions.
The eighth generation Passat is currently being launched in Europe, and already, Volkswagen has come up with something more: the German car maker is showing the Passat GTE in a world premiere at the Paris Motor Show – the first Passat with a plug-in hybrid drive system.
It is a zero-emission and long-distance vehicle in one and available as a saloon or estate. In GTE mode, the Volkswagen also has a sporty side. Plug-in hybrid, in this case, means the combination of a turbocharged direct injection petrol engine (TSI) with an electric motor, which is supplied with energy from an externally (or in Charge mode) chargeable lithium-ion battery. Thanks to this battery, the Passat GTE can cover a distance of up to 31 miles in all-electric mode and thus with zero emissions. At the press of a button next to the gear lever, the driver can also control the all-electric mode (“E-Mode”) at will – for example, at the end of a drive when the destination is in a city.
A contrast to the “E-Mode” is offered by the mode “GTE”, which is also accessible at the press of a button – in this mode, the Passat delivers a maximum system output of 160 kW / 218 PS; a wide variety of parameters such as the accelerator pedal and steering are also configured in a sportier way in this mode. The 1.4-litre TSI engine develops a power of 115 kW / 156 PS (as of 5,000 rpm); the electric motor produces 85 kW / 15 PS. The maximum torque of the plug-in hybrid drive system is 400 Nm. Performance and power are deployed both efficiently and in an eco-friendly way: The NEDC consumption (for hybrid vehicles) is over 141 mpg (under 2.0 l/100 km) and 13.0 kWh/100 km; these values equate to CO2 emissions lower than 45 g/km. In combination with the TSI, this results in a driving range of over 620 miles with a full 50-litre fuel tank and fully charged battery – with it, the Passat GTE covers the route from Paris to London and back without refuelling.
The pioneering low power/fuel consumption and emission values contrast with a powerful driving performance: the Passat GTE, always with front-wheel drive and equipped as standard with a six-gear dual clutch gearbox especially developed for the hybrid drive, accelerates to 62 mph in less than 8.0 seconds and achieves a top speed of more than 136 mph; in “E-Mode,” 80 mph.
The Passat GTE will be launched in the second half of next year – both as a saloon and an estate. With the market launch of the plug-in hybrid, a total of nine drive versions, covering a power range from 92 kW / 125 PS to 206 kW / 280 PS, will be available for the European version of the Passat. All versions meet the EU 6 emissions standard. The Passat GTE also constitutes an integral part of the strategy for electric mobility at Volkswagen. After the XL1, e-up!, e-Golf and Golf GTE, the Passat GTE is the fifth, or sixth model (saloon and estate) that can be operated by electric motor with zero emissions.
The Passat GTE is an independent equipment line. On the one hand, its standard equipment includes many features also available in other models of the range, either as an option or without extra charge, depending on the equipment version: LED headlights, Driver Alert System, Automatic Post-Collision Braking system, Front Assist including City Emergency Braking function, rain sensor and ParkPilot. On the other hand, as a high-tech flagship, the Passat GTE features several unique elements and equipment upgrades which distinguish it from the rest of the range.
In the upper section of the front end, the Passat GTE can be recognised by a specific chrome radiator grille unit with additional blue line. The front bumper was also redesigned, with distinctive cross panels in the lower air inlet and C-shaped LED daytime running lights. The “C”-shaped LED daytime running light and the blue line in the radiator grille unit are stylistic devices purposefully deployed by Design: blue is the Volkswagen “e-mobility colour” and in conjunction with the C-shaped daytime running light, it constitutes an identifying feature of all Volkswagen’s electric and plug-in hybrid models. When viewed from the side, 17-inch “Astana” alloy wheels identify the Passat GTE as a plug-in hybrid.
The interior was likewise fine-tuned for the new drive system. With a menu matrix for the functions and displays related to the drive system, the engineers and interface designers at Volkswagen TE (Technical Development Centre) tailored features such as the standard “Composition Media” infotainment system and the instrument cluster (with power meter) for the plug-in hybrid drive. In addition, the innovative Active Info Display with specific displays will be also available as an option for the Passat GTE. Standard details such as the blue ambient lighting, leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel with blue decorative stitching, GTE specific gear knob with blue stitching and seats covered in “Sevilla” cloth with a blue basic structure have also been especially configured to the Passat GTE. Furthermore, the interior was enhanced by the “Waves” design (aluminium look) and “Piano Black” (high-gloss black) as well as a GTE logo in front of the gear shift gate.
The owner of the new Passat GTE can make use of the “CAR-NET e-Remote” app, by which the charging of the battery, for instance, can be started via smartphone. Likewise, all climate control functions can be activated via the smartphone. In addition, information on the vehicle status, state of charge of the battery, recent driving data or last parking position can be queried. It is also possible to check whether the doors are closed and the lights turned off.
The Passat GTE will become available to order in the UK in June, with first deliveries in October 2015