Coming This Fall: The New VW Passat GTE

From the fine people at Volkswagen comes a plug-in hybrid version of the Passat sedan.

The Volkswagen continues to plug-in.  Following the Golf GTE, comes the next high-volume model with a plug-in drive system: this time the German carmaker is electrifying the new Passat GTE. Its launch marks the debut of a new generation of business and family cars – zero-emission vehicle and long-distance touring car all in one. A Volkswagen that combines the present and the future. A car that boasts not only one of the most progressive drive systems of our time, but also an array of innovative assistance and infotainment systems that is ground-breaking in the segment of large family cars.

With superb system output of 215 horsepower (160 kW / 218 PS), frugal NEDC (New European Driving Cycle ) consumption of just 1.6 l/100 km and 12.2 kWh/100 km (Variant: 12.4 kWh) and an all-electric range of up to 50 kilometres, the Passat GTE defines a new level of efficiency in its class. Under normal operating conditions the new Volkswagen always begins its journey in all-electric and thus emission-free mode. This E-Mode can also be activated at the push of a button, for example towards the end of a journey as you enter a city. In cities like London, drivers of the Passat GTE are therefore exempt from the usual congestion charge.

The Passat GTE is an independent trim line. The high-tech model’s extensive standard features include LED headlights (for main and dipped beam), Driver Alert System, Automatic Post-Collision Braking, the Front Assist ambient traffic monitoring system including City Emergency Braking function, a rain sensor, ParkPilot for front and rear, chrome trim on the side windows and comfort seats (in the front).

In addition, there are elements of individualisation that have been conceived solely for the Passat GTE. These include at the front a specific chrome radiator grille unit with an integrated striking blue stripe – blue being the colour of Volkswagen electric motoring. The Passat GTE’s progressive charisma is strengthened by the completely redesigned bumper with a C-shaped LED daytime running light signature. In common with the blue design elements, this C-shaped signature is an identifying feature of all Volkswagen electric and plug-in hybrid models. From the side the 17-inch Montpellier alloy wheels identify the Passat GTE as a plug-in hybrid. The interior too has been conceptually aligned to the new drive system. Here the engineers and designers have tailored the instrument cluster and standard Composition Media infotainment system with dedicated menu matrix to the functions and displays specific to the plug-in hybrid’s drive system. Standard details such as the blue ambient lighting, the multi-function leather steering wheel with blue decorative stitching, a GTE-specific gear knob with blue stitching and the seats, likewise with a matching blue basic structure, have also been individualised. The interior has been further refined with aluminium-look and gloss black trim.

The Passat GTE and Passat GTE Variant will arrive on the European market this autumn; in the first few countries advance sales have already begun. In Asia the launch will also be this year. In terms of the brand, the Passat GTE is an elementary building block in Volkswagen’s electric motoring strategy.

Hopefully we’ll see it in the US soon as well.

Innovative Heads Up Display for the New VW Passat. Image courtesy of VW Global Media.

Innovative Heads Up Display for the New VW Passat. Image courtesy of VW Global Media.

One of the highlights of the eighth Passat generation is the new head-up display. It projects relevant trip data and alerts onto a high-quality slide-out pane positioned directly in the driver’s field of vision. This technical innovation can now be ordered as an option for the whole Passat range – Passat Saloon, Passat Variant, Passat Alltrack and Passat GTE.

At the press of a button, the transparent display rises from its position behind the dashboard into the driver’s primary field of vision. Speed, traffic signs, the activity of the assistance systems and other functions are displayed on the 10 x 15cm surface. The display has pin-sharp resolution of 480 x 240 pixels.

Drivers can also have navigation data or alerts shown on the head-up display. The driver’s eyes remain on the road, with the on-screen information appearing to be two metres in front of the vehicle. The advantage of this is that projecting alerts into the driver’s immediate field of vision reduces reaction time. In addition, the driver’s eyes do not need to refocus so often from far-field to near-field vision.

Using the infotainment system menu, the driver decides which items of information are displayed (e.g. current speed, speed limits, navigation information, etc.).

The head-up display is activated by a separate control next to the rotary light switch. When not in use, the display disappears again – protected from dust – inside the dashboard.

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Copyright 2015 Hybrid and Electric Car News



Sebastian James

Accept no substitutes

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