In conclusion of today’s Volkswagen-heavy fare, a peek into the future of Volkswagen’s most boring, but nonetheless highly successful car: The Passat.
Germany’s Auto Bild thinks it knows what the 8th generation Passat will look like when it hits the showrooms sometime in 2014. While their renderings most likely don’t reveal the exact likeness of the future Passat, Auto Bild’s Passat companion story probably has more than a few grains of truth.
The 2014 Passat will be the first Passat with Volkswagen’s new kit architecture as its underpinnings. The current B7 (B class, 7th generation) sits on the PQ47 platform. That’s Plattform, quer, 7. Generation (transverse platform, 7th gen.)
The Mk 8 Passat will no longer sit on a platform, but will be built using Volkswagen’s MQB, or Modularer QuerBaukasten. (“Modular Transverse Kit” or more hifalutin, “Modular Transverse Matrix.”) This new kit architecture covers pretty much everything in Volkswagen’s future, from the Polo to the Passat.
The kit doesn’t cover anything higher. Between the B-Class Passat and the D-Class Phaeton is a C-Class sized gap. Rumor had it that this gap would be closed with a Super-Passat (or value-sized Phaeton), a project that haunted the hallways of Wolfsburg’s Forschung und Entwicklung (R&D Department) under the codename VW 511). This project, says Auto Bild, “is off the table.”
China’s auto.163.com has revived long-standing rumors of a baby-Phaeton, or C-Class Volkswagen. If the site is correctly informed, the car is being developed by VW in China “in partnership with Shanghai Auto Industry Corporation in a bid to take on the mid to large sized sedan segment,” as China CarTimes helpfully translates. According to CCT, “the goal is to offer something bigger than the current Passat’s on offer in China, but smaller and cheaper than the imported Phaeton.” Supposedly due out 2013 at a Shanghai Volkswagen dealer near you.
Who knows. It either could be the old rumor that had been around SVW since 2009, or it is the VW 511 story that finally made its way to Shanghai, or it was Wolfsburg saying to Shanghai: “Here are the VW 511 drawings. We don’t need them anymore. Maybe you want them as wall decoration?”