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Spy Shots: 2009 Volkswagen Passat Coupe

David AxbergwriterHans G Lehmannphotographers

It appears that the Germans are jumping on the "four-door coupe" bandwagon hard and fast. After witnessing the success that Mercedes-Benz has had with its slinky CLS, Porsche has been readying its Panamera sedan. Likewise, BMW is after a slice of the pie. The automaker gave us the CS concept at last year's Shanghai Auto Show to preview an upcoming production model. Like the CLS, the BMW will be long and low: longer than even the current 7-series and with a much lower roof.

Well, now Volkswagen is getting in on the game as well. These shots reveal test mules of a Passat based coupe running around the American southwest for hot weather testing. The car may be based on the VW family car, but its name will almost certainly be different. Volkswagen is again marching upmarket with this car, hoping to slot it between the current Passat and the next generation Phaeton.

We can only guess at this point that engines would be shared with other members of the platform family, with both four and six cylinder engines expected. It is probable that the familiar 2.0-liter turbo-charged four will serve as the base engine, with larger VR6 engines higher in the range.