Unfazed by the US emissions scandal, Volkswagen has launched a plug-in version of its latest Passat – the GTE – plus a 4WD Alltrack model at dealers in Germany.

The second VW GTE model to be launched after the Golf last year, the Passat is powered by a 115kW/156PS 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine and an 85kW/116PS electric motor which together generate system output of 160kW/219PS.

“The combination of turbocharged direct-injection engine (TSI) and electric motor brings together efficiency and sustainability,” VW said. The lithium-ion battery is charged by the petrol engine and regenerative braking and also via a charging cable connected to a mains socket.

In all-electric mode the Passat can drive up to 50km (30 miles) emission-free and overall range is about 1,100km. The GTE’s main distinguishing features are its C-shaped LED daytime running lights and a blue bar across the radiator grille that extends into the headlights. Inside, the instrument cluster includes a power meter and the infotainment system a menu for functions and displays specific to each drive system.

Some functions can be controlled and monitored via smart phone using the ‘Car-Net e-Remote’ app. These include charging the battery, activating air conditioning or locating the car.

German pricing starts at EUR45,250 (US$50,661) for the estate and EUR44,250 for the saloon.

VW has also launched a new Passat Alltrack, based on the latest estate, with 4Motion four-wheel drive as standard. It is priced from EUR38,550.