Volkswagen may have recently updated the Passat and added a sportier GT model, but it’s still a seven-year-old car in need of a redesign. Thankfully, Volkswagen has said a new Passat will go on sale sometime next year, so we shouldn’t have to wait long for the official reveal. But until that happens, could these spy shots of a facelifted European Passat provide some clues about the upcoming redesign? It’s possible.
Before we read too much into what we see here, it’s important to remember that Volkswagen developed the 2012 Passat specifically for the U.S. Not only is it larger and built to cater to American tastes, it also rides on a different platform than the European Passat. Because of that (as well as the fact this prototype isn’t a complete redesign), don’t expect to see this exact car at, say, the Detroit motor show next January.
That said, if you look closely at the prototype our spy photographer caught testing, the front end appears to borrow heavily from the recently redesigned Jetta. The rear, however, appears to stick more closely to what’s already on the current Euro-market Passat. Even though the U.S.-spec car will be completely redesigned when it arrives next year, Volkswagen may plan to spread the Jetta’s design language across its entire lineup.
Of course, it’s entirely possible Volkswagen could go a completely different direction with the American car. But considering how similar new Audis look, don’t be surprised if the next Passat ends up looking like a larger Jetta.
Photo source: CarPix