Volkswagen has released information and images on three of its Detroit debuts before the show opens next week. The Passat Performance Concept previews a possible variant of VW’s midsize sedan, while both the 2014 Tiguan and Touareg R-Line SUV are already confirmed to reach U.S. dealers this fall.
The Passat Performance Concept takes the current U.S.-spec Passat to the next level with a new powertrain and a raft of upgrades. That new engine is the brand's 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injected I-4, available in numerous European and Asian VWs, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Here, that engine is good for 250 hp. That rating is just shy of the 280 hp offered by the 2013 Passat VR6’s 3.6-liter six-cylinder, and is well above the 170-hp output of the base 2.5-liter I-5.
Aesthetic upgrades for the Passat Performance Concept are immediately noticeable – the Performance Concept receives bi-xenon headlights with LED running lights and LED taillights, which aren’t presently available on U.S.-spec Passats. The concept is also decked out with 19-inch Luxor alloy wheels, a lowered sport suspension, a dual exhaust, carbon fiber mirror caps, and a subtle decklid spoiler. Inside, the cabin is trimmed with two-color leather seating surfaces and carbon-style inserts, a black headliner, and carbon fiber-like dash trim.
Volkswagen has yet to reveal any more details, but promises that the Passat Performance Concept "gives a sneak peek at an upcoming sport sedan." Given that the company has previously made high-powered variants of its family sedan before, don't be surprised to see a range-topping Passat show up in dealerships in the near future.
Speaking of sportier Volkswagens arriving at dealers, the R-Line variants of the Tiguan and Touareg SUVs will be rolling into VW showrooms in North America this fall. The two SUVs may not gain any powertrain upgrades, but do gain an added dash of style.
The 2014 Tiguan R-Line will sit atop the compact crossover's hierarchy, further upgrading past the Tiguan SEL. R-Line cars will be differentiated by 19-inch Mallory alloy wheels wrapped in low-profile all-season rubber, a sport suspension, body-color side skirts with chrome trim, wheel arch extensions, a unique rear spoiler, bi-xenon headlights with LED running lights, and a smattering of R-Line badges. Inside, the Tiguan R-Line will come with a 400-watt Fender audio system, flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters, metallic-finish trim, black headliner, and aluminum pedals. R-Line Tiguans can be had in either front- or all-wheel drive forms.
Unsurprisingly, the 2014 Touareg R-Line models gain similar upgrades to the Tiguan. The R-Line is available with either 3.0-liter V-6 engine (your choice of gas or diesel) and adds things like 20-inch alloy wheels, LED taillights, oval-shaped dual exhaust tips, and a unique front fascia. The cabin is trimmed with brushed aluminum.