VW Passat (2011) caught on trailer test

Published: 13 May 2010

Volkswagen will show off the new, seventh-generation Passat sooner than you might think – at the 2010 Paris motor show this autumn. The latest VW Passat will arrive in UK dealers in January 2011.

Codenamed B7, to signify it's the seventh iteration of the family line, the new Passat might look uncannily similar to the outgoing model in our new spy photos, but we hear that under the skin there's plenty to talk about. Strip away the disguise around the Passat's snout and you can make out Polo-effect, squared-off headlamps and modern-era VW-spec family grille.

VW Passat (2011): the engineering changes

According to CAR's sources, the new Passat sits on the VW Group's latest mid-sized transverse engine architecture, the ultra-flexible MQB components set.

The four-door Passat saloon scooped here and an estate will be unveiled at the 2010 Paris show, and the Passat CC will continue for a while yet before it too is updated on to the new MQB matrix. Eventually, this hardware will also spawn successors to the Tiguan mid-sized SUV.

What new tech does the new Passat bring?

Weight-saving is order of the day, we hear – with shrunken air-con compressors, ultra-thin glass and lightweight chassis stiffening all tipped for the 2011 Passat.

Under the bonnet lies a suite of the latest VW Group engines. Downsizing is king, so expect a run of engines from 1.4s all the way up to the 3.6-litre V6 for a proposed R version. Of course, the bulk of buyers will pick a diesel, so there'll be a flood of TDI models in every which horsepower configuration.

No W8 model this time, though; such fripperies are anti-zeitgeist in Wolfsburg. We're far more likely to hear of plug-in hybrid modules, which are bound for the Passat before too long.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet