Report: The Next Volkswagen Passat Will Up Its Practical Game, Offer An Electric Version

A new model won't emerge until the 2023 model year

Volkswagen has reportedly given a next-generation Passat the green light, even after doubts swirled as to whether it would continue alongside the similarly sized Arteon. British outlet Autocar notes the car will also move to a global platform in its next generation, aiming to offer a more luxurious, upscale successor on what has historically been the brand’s flagship sedan.

As midsize sedans have struggled these past few years, VW remained committed as other automakers pulled out. In fact, we in the U.S. market did see an updated Passat, although ours is not built on the latest MQB platform. Instead, the North American Passat uses the automaker’s old PQ46 platform, which traces its roots all the way back to 2005. Now, the report states, all global Passats will ride on an updated version of MQB — but there’s more.

When the new Volkswagen Passat goes on sale in 2023 (at least in the UK), it will continue in its sedan form. European markets will also get a wagon version, but it’s unlikely we’ll see that here. Instead, what we may see is a pure-electric Passat in this next generation. The company has not confirmed anything at this point, mind you, but it is a possibility given VW’s shift toward electricity. The e-Golf was built on the MQB platform, and the technology lends itself to plug-in hybrids. Even if the 2023 Volkswagen Passat sticks with a conventional engine, it will likely be drastically updated from what we have now.

For the most current 2020 model, the Passat has a 174 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. “With the Arteon, we already have a style leader in the segment,” a source told Autocar. “This leaves the door open for the Passat to become even more space-oriented than today’s model.”

A more luxurious Passat?

Volkswagen insiders say the styling for the 2023 Volkswagen Passat is already approved. In moving to a global platform, the company reportedly aims to offer one more practical model to the Arteon’s style-driven focus. The ninth-generation model will also offer 5G connectivity and Level 3 semi-autonomous driving, where it’s available.

As it stands, since VW just launched an updated car in North America, we’re in for a wait to see how the next-generation Passat shakes out. In the meantime, check out more in the video below: