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Back in August, we reported that Volkswagen was planning to send the Passat GT concept shown at the 2016 LA Auto Show into production. The concept was Volkswagen's attempt at making the Passat become a bit more exciting with numerous cosmetic changes, a VR6 engine, and slight tweaks to the suspension. Next week at the Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen will show off the production model.

The exterior of the Passat GT matches up with the concept as there are a blacked-out honeycomb grille, red accent striping, blacked-out trim, 19-inch wheels, and a black decklid spoiler. Only four colors will be available on the GT; Pure White, Reflex Silver, Platinum Grey, and Deep Black. Inside, Volkswagen has added a fair amount of piano black and carbon fiber trim; two-tone leatherette upholstery for the seats, and aluminum GT-badged sills.

Under the hood is the venerable 3.6L VR6 producing 280 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque - the same power figures as you'll find in the Passat V6 Premium. This is paired with a six-speed DSG. The GT will also feature a sport suspension that lowers the ride height. 

Volkswagen will begin selling the Passat GT in the second half of 2018 with a base price of $29,940 (includes an $850 destination charge).

Source: Volkswagen
Press Release is on Page 2


  • GT combines the powerful VR6® engine with a lowered suspension and design enhancements to create the most aggressive looking Passat yet
  • Limited-run model adds more than 20 sporty interior and exterior enhancements to Passat
  • 3.6-liter VR6 engine is paired with a lowered suspension and sport exhaust
  • Designed at Volkswagen’s Engineering and Planning Center in Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Pricing starts at $29,090

Detroit, Mich. – Today, Volkswagen of America, Inc., debuted the 2018 Passat GT special model at the North American International Auto Show. The production model, previewed by a concept at Automobility LA in 2016, was designed by the company’s North American engineering hub in Chattanooga, Tennessee, based on extensive feedback from U.S. customers and dealers.

“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.

Starting at the front, Passat GT differentiates itself from standard Passat models with standard LED headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs). It borrows the R-Line® bumper and adds a honeycomb grille, GT badge, and a red accent line, reminiscent of the high-performance Golf GTI. A sport suspension gives it a more planted stance and cements the aggressive look.

Moving around the side of the vehicle, the GT receives sporty touches from top to bottom. A black roof is complimented by black mirror caps and black window and door trim. Two-tone 19-inch “Tornado” wheels are accentuated with red-painted brake calipers, another nod to Volkswagen’s performance heritage.

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.

Inside, the GT features piano black center console and vent trim, carbon fiber optic décor, black headliner, and aluminum GT-badged sills. Seating surfaces 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.

To keep passengers connected, the Passat GT features a Composition Media infotainment unit with 6.3-inch capacitive touchscreen display and standard Bluetooth® for compatible devices, Voice Control, and 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.

The new Passat GT will be powered by Volkswagen’s 3.6-liter VR6® engine, making it a true sport sedan. Producing an impressive 280 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm with regular fuel, it offers power and luxury-class driving comfort with surprising fuel economy—EPA estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. Shifting is handled by a standard six-speed DSG® automatic transmission with Tiptronic®, which features steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Every 2018 Passat model comes with the People First Warranty, America’s best bumper-to-bumper new vehicle limited warranty. The warranty provides coverage for six-years or 72,000-miles (whichever occurs first), and the warranty can be transferred to subsequent owners throughout the remainder of its duration.

The 2018 Passat GT is expected to arrive at U.S. Volkswagen dealers in the second quarter of 2018. Pricing for the Passat GT starts at $29,090. The destination charge is an additional $850.

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Car is a fine generic car as cars go, red lines added a sports car do not make. I guess I am just not a VW customer as it is still very bland looking, forgettable to me.

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I think that even though they have taken little baby steps to fix the interiors, things like the wonking huge parking brake lever and otherwise cheap and indifferent switchgear give the impression that not a lot has changed since this came out.

Sad, because its a decent car, and putting lipstick on the pig isn't quite enough.  The Passat is literally one of those cars you can recommend 'at the right price'.  Too many of the Passat trim levels are 'undertrimmed' inside and look cheap.  So if you like the Passat it really is about what you pay for which trim level you are willing to settle for.

By the way, the Passat has become a great used buy.  If you want a larger sedan with space and the turbo four is a decent performer....depending on trim you can usually find good selection with low miles for good prices.  A couple months ago I had looked at a used 2014 with 5,000 miles on it for my mother.  It was only like 14,000 bucks.  I didn't pursue it though as it was cloth.  I could have added leather by aftermarket and would have made no difference to her.  The size of the Passat is what her and my dad were liking when they looked at diesel Passats a couple years ago.

With the GT maybe it means VW will be pumping more V6 Passats into the market.  the 4 cylinder turbo is new for 18, it is upsized to 2.0 but curiously is retuned in such a way that it doesn't really have more power.  So it is not a 2.0 like in a GTI.

Can't blame VW though, they need to recover their US plant investment and hey that's tough to do when the government is slapping huge fines on you that take forever to pay off.

Edited by regfootball
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