With a revised appearance, raft of new engines and technological enhancements, the Passat, now further developed in all areas, will once again establish a new benchmark for quality and refinement in the upper medium and compact executive classes.
Outside, the new Passat looks more purposeful from the front than the model it replaces, with a chrome grille and deeper, wider air inlets. The rear has distinctive redesigned light clusters and a new boot opening, while a chrome rubbing strip runs around the body and chromed window surrounds add an upmarket touch on certain models.
The theme continues inside the cabin with instrument surrounds ringed with chrome. All the 'attention to detail' features for which the current Passat is renowned - silicone damped grab handles, damped action glovebox and fold-away cupholders - remain.
The final engine line-up for the UK has yet to be confirmed but is likely to include four petrol units, one of which will be a new 170 bhp V5, and three diesels, including two 'Pumpe Düse' units of 100 and 130 bhp. The current trim levels - S, SE, Sport and 'V' range - are set to remain.
The new Passat will be revealed at the Paris Motor Show on 28 September and go on sale in mainland Europe in November. It will make its UK debut at the Birmingham International Motor Show on 17 October and go on sale early in 2001 in both saloon and estate versions.
Last year 22,473 Passat saloons and 7579 estates were sold in the UK.