Volkswagen’s improving results in the U.S. have been bolstered by its expanded sport-utility line-up, but the maker is also providing its loyal Passat owners something new for 2018: the Passat GT.
The new performance model, which was designed at the company’s North American design and engineering center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, bows at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
“The Passat GT illustrates how the North American Region can shape Volkswagen vehicles specifically for the U.S. market,” said Dr. Matthias Erb, chief engineering officer, North American Region, Volkswagen. “Combining a local perspective with our global engineering expertise allows us to create vehicles that meet the needs and desires of customers here.”
The Passat GT joins the Passat lineup for model year 2018 as a limited-run special model based off the R-Line trim. It will be available in four exterior colors—Pure White, Reflex Silver, Platinum Grey, and Deep Black.
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VW’s newest performance offering gets a 3.6-liter VR6 engine, putting out 280 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm with regular fuel. This kind of power comes with a surprisingly good level of fuel efficiency with an EPA-estimated 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. The engine is mated to a standard six-speed DSG automatic transmission with Tiptronic, which features steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The look of on the outside matches the performance under the hood. The GT comes with standard LED headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights. It borrows the R-Line bumper and adds a honeycomb grille, GT badge, and a red accent line, much like the Golf GTI.
The Passat GT gets a sport suspension and 19-inch, two-tone “Tornado” wheels, which are accentuated with red-painted brake calipers. Additionally, the car’s black roof is complimented by black mirror caps and black window and door trim.
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At the back, the Passat GT’s accents continue with a black spoiler and blackened LED taillights. The rear fascia also includes black bumper trim and a double exhaust with an acoustic package.
On the inside, the GT features piano black center console and vent trim, carbon fiber optic décor, black headliner, and aluminum GT-badged sills. The seats are black leatherette with Moonrock Gray inserts and contrast stitching. Standard interior comfort features include: a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 8-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, dual-zone Climatronic automatic climate control, and heated side mirrors.
Automakers can’t just offer performance without some technological goodies. The Passat GT features a Composition Media infotainment unit with 6.3-inch capacitive touchscreen display and standard Bluetooth for compatible devices, Voice Control.
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Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect technology that offers compatible smartphone integration with the three major platforms—Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. GT models feature two USB ports—one in the center console and one in the rear seat console. SiriusXM Satellite Radio is standard and includes a three-month trial.