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Volkswagen Passat makes world premiere

Unveiled at the Volkswagen Design Centre in Potsdam, the latest Passat (see video here) is based on the group's modular MQB platform, which also underpins the Golf Mk7. Helped by the use of lightweight materials, the Passat is actually lighter than before – by up to 85kg – and offers more passenger space despite being shorter than the outgoing model. It also offers a sleeker design, with lower body, longer wheelbase and larger wheels, and brings up to 20% better fuel economy from a range of petrol and diesel engines, with a plug-in hybrid also available.

Latest technologies include systems such as Active Info display (a fully digital instrument cluster), extendible head-up display as well as systems such as an app-based Rear Seat Entertainment for tablet computers, Front Assist plus City Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring and three more world firsts: Emergency Assist (vehicle stops in emergency), Trailer Assist (assisted manoeuvring with a trailer) and Traffic Jam Assist.

The new Passat will be available with 10 direct-injection turbocharged petrol and diesel engines covering a power range from 118bhp to 276bhp. All engines all meet Euro 6 emission standards and are equipped with a stop-start system and a regenerative braking mode.

For the first time, the Passat will also be offered with a plug-in hybrid drive. Available in both bodystyles, the plug-in hybrid will share its drivetrain with the Golf GTE, pairing a 154bhp 1.4 TSI petrol engine with a 108bhp electric motor. With a system power output of 208bhp it will be Volkswagen's most powerful plug-in hybrid and will also offer an all-electric range of 31 miles.  

Advance sales for the new Passat begin on Thursday 10th July, with the public unveiling to take place at the Paris Motor Show in October. First deliveries are expected in early 2015.

Prices for the UK have not been announced but they start in Europe from €25,875 (£20,504) for the saloon) and €26,950 (£21,355) for the estate.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.