Will Volkswagen use the refreshed Passat to introduce PHEV tech?
Here’s some sad news for those who liked the Volkswagen Passat. The sedan is no longer on sale in India. However, if you still want one, you could get a 2019 assembled model. Try and reach out to more than a couple of dealers to increase your chances. Before it got taken off the assembly line, the saloon was available in four variants, two out of which were Connect Editions. All housed the same 2.0-litre TDI mill mated to a 6-speed DSG and 174bhp/350Nm on tap.
With the pre-facelift Passat gone, what will Volkswagen do to fill up the void? Will it bring in the refreshed version with a BS6-compliant (Bharat Stage 6) diesel engine? Or, will the Germans the same route as the Japanese have done in the same sedan space? In India, Honda and Toyota sell strong-hybrid versions of the Accord and the Camry, respectively. That’s why they cost way more than the similarly sized, diesel-powered Volkswagen Passat and the Skoda Superb. So, the question is, will we see Volkswagen introduce the GTE derivative of the Passat in India?
You see Skoda India is likely to introduce the Superb PHEV either along or after the refreshed version of the sedan goes on sale. That particular derivative, however, has the same set of mechanicals as the Passat GTE. Considering that Skoda’s main aim is to garner a more substantial market share in the mainstream car segments (as per India 2.0 project), Volkswagen could very well test waters with the Passat GTE and give the Japanese a tougher fight.
The Camry uses a combination of a 2.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, whereas in the Accord the electric motor works along with a 2.0-litre petrol mill. While the latter has a total system output of approximately 212bhp, its counterpart from Japan has 215bhp. The Passat GTE, and the Superb PHEV for that matter, produce the same power as the Toyota. However, the German-made saloons gain their hybrid tags with the help of a 1.4-litre petrol engine and an electric motor. On electric power alone, the latter two can travel up to 55km before running out of battery juice.
Because of their hybrid nature, all the sedans mentioned above meet the BS6 norms. Of course, the introduction of the Passat GTE is purely speculative. But, you have to agree that it might just arrive to increase the sub-Rs 50 lakh (~USD 70,000) PHEV count. What do you think?