The Volkswagen Passat is dead in North America but the mid-size model continues to live a rather healthy life on the European continent. In fact, a new generation is under development and is going to be available only as a station wagon. We don’t have an exact launch date yet, but we have new spy photos showing work on the 2024 Passat is progressing.
This white prototype was recently caught by our photographers in snowy Sweden testing with clever camouflage on public roads. In fact, this is the same car we also spied about a month ago and it seems that the Wolfsburg-based company is still in Northern Europe to complete its cold-weather testing program for the new Passat. It may seem almost exactly like today’s model for Europe but that’s not exactly the case.
One thing is sure – Volkswagen won’t make drastic changes to the Passat’s exterior – but don’t let this disguised trial vehicle fool you. There will be massive tweaks to the front fascia bringing the D-segment vehicle closer to the current Golf MK8 in styling and also borrowing some design cues from Volkswagen’s ID family. The wheelbase is stretched out, giving the long-roof VW very sleek proportions. That huge overhang at the back hints at a bigger boot compared to today’s model.
The German automaker is slowly but steadily electrifying its entire model range and the new Passat won’t be left aside. It will probably become the last Passat in history with combustion engines, though those turbocharged gas and diesel mills will benefit from some sort of hybrid assist. A plug-in hybrid powertrain also seems certain, but a fully-electric model isn’t in the cards. Instead, Volkswagen will launch the Aero B electric sedan with similar exterior dimensions.
Europe is still hungry for practical wagons and Volkswagen will answer some of those needs in the mainstream segment, where the new 2024 Passat will share its underpinnings and powertrain options with the next-gen Skoda Superb. The two will be built on the same assembly lines in Bratislava, Slovakia, and we expect to see them both launch on the continent later this year.