Volkswagen will launch a new generation of Passat this year in Europe, but it’s unclear whether it’ll come here.
The company has previously indicated the next-gen model remains under review for Australia.
Volkswagen had previously suggested it was weighing introducing a plug-in hybrid version of the next-generation Passat locally, but has subsequently stopped short of confirming a local launch for the next-gen model.
The company has also called the ID.7, an electric sedan similar in size to the Passat, “not on our list of ones that we’re trying really hard to bring in [to Australia]”.
Volkswagen still sells a Passat sedan in China, but it’s an unrelated model riding on MQB underpinnings.
The new European Passat wagon is expected to move to the latest MQB Evo architecture, and will be the first generation to not be built in Emden, Germany, with production to be shifted to Bratislava, Slovakia alongside the related Skoda Superb.
It’s expected to grow in size and could match the Superb in dimensions.
The current Passat wagon measures 4777mm long, 1832mm wide and 1477mm tall (1506mm on the Alltrack) on a 2791mm wheelbase.
The Alltrack shares the wagon’s dimensions except it’s 1506mm tall. All models have 650L of boot space, expanding to 1780L with the rear seats folded.
In contrast, the current Skoda Superb wagon is 79mm longer and 32mm wider on a 50mm longer wheelbase, and has an extra 10L of boot space, or 170L with the rear seats dropped.
Prototypes have been spied wearing disguise that makes them resemble the outgoing model, but nevertheless it’s likely it’ll be a fairly evolutionary design. It does appear more curvaceous however, in keeping with the next-generation Tiguan also set to debut this year.
Should the Passat exit the local line-up, it would represent the first time since 1994 that the brand hasn’t offered the long-running nameplate in Australia.
It would also leave the Arteon liftback and Shooting Brake wagon as the brand’s only mid-sized passenger cars in Australia.
The Arteon isn’t too far off the Passat in sales – Volkswagen sold 612 last year, against 759 Passats and 158 Passat Alltracks – but its future isn’t assured globally.
As far back as 2020 there have been reports the Arteon wouldn’t be replaced after the current generation.