Volkswagen Passat Performance Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show

  • Looks like: A normal Passat with — really, just a normal Passat
  • Defining characteristics: 250-hp, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, 19-inch wheels, lowered suspension
  • Ridiculous features: Nothing at all
  • Chance of being mass-produced: Possible considering the Passat's popularity

The 2013 Volkswagen Passat is near and dear to us as comfy and spacious and even ultra-efficient in TDI diesel models. Fun to drive doesn’t exactly describe the current Passat, but it looks like Volkswagen is aiming to add a little high-performance flair to the midsize sedan with a Passat Performance Concept at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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Under the hood is a new 250-horsepower, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that’s not currently available in any U.S.-specific Passats. Volkswagen says the engine is already available — and popular — in the European and Asian markets. The concept’s engine pairs with a six-speed automatic transmission. Even though the current 3.6-liter V-6 makes more horsepower, a turbocharged engine often adds a fun-to-drive factor despite its less power.

Channeling the turbocharged power to the ground is a lowered sport suspension to enhance handling. The Passat Performance Concept also features a dual exhaust system, 19-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights with adaptive lighting and carbon-fiber-like highlights on the dashboard, side mirrors and seating surfaces.

Volkswagen Volkswagen Passat 2012 Detroit Auto Show 2013 Detroit Auto Show Auto Show Detroit Detroit Auto Show

Road Test Editor Joe Bruzek covers’s short-and long-term fleet of test cars and drives a 1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.  Email Joe


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