Although it’s not the first time we’ve managed to catch a prototype of Volkswagen’s mid-size sedan, the particular testing vehicle stands out from the rest of the mules simply because it’s the 2019 VW Passat GTE. How do we do know that? Well, it’s actually quite simple: the prototype features GTE’s characteristic alloy wheels, while there is also a charging port next to the VW’s badge on the grille. So, yes, this has to be the plug-in hybrid Passat.
The fact that we are looking at the refreshed 2019 Passat GTE doesn’t really change anything, because the electrified sedan gets pretty much the same changes as the gasoline-powered model. Meaning, the camouflage hides new styling cues borrowed from the Arteon, which are basically a new and wider grille that extends into the redesigned and more aggressive headlights. The camo hides the completely new front bumper that’s paired with C-shaped daytime running lamps. Around back, the plug-in hybrid sedan from VW seems to feature pretty much the same taillights, which are most likely coupled with new graphics. The taillights are LED-treated of course. Below, the testing prototype clearly hosts a totally redesigned rear bumper. The difference is quite obvious as the new one has no cutouts for the exhaust tips.
The facelifted 2019 Volkswagen Passat GTE is going to receive a few improvements inside, too. The German automaker will likely make add an updated infotainment and new driver technologies, including an all-new quite useful emergency assist safety system that slows the car to a stop and merges into the emergency lane if the driver becomes unresponsive.
Today’s Passat GTE is mated to the interesting powertrain that combines a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine with an electric motor. Together, the system produces exactly 215 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. It provides enough electricity to move the car without the gasoline engine for around 50 km (31 miles). Still, that was according to NEDC rating. In case the sedan doesn’t receive any changes the same powertrain will get significantly lower EPA-rating, which will likely be limited to 25 miles.
The updated VW Passat will make debut later this year, but it won’t hit the dealerships before next spring for sure.