Published On: Fri, Jan 12th, 2018
Cars |

2018 Volkswagen Passat GT wants to be a GTI for grown-ups

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Volkswagen introduced the hopped-up Passat GT Friday before the Detroit auto show. The limited-run VW sedan gets more than 20 “sporty interior and exterior” enhancements, the most important of which is the company’s 3.6-liter V6 making 280 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It will be offered in four colors: pure white, reflex silver, platinum grey and deep black.

Like the Atlas SUV, the Passat GT was designed at VW’s Engineering and Planning Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and will be built at the factory.

The new GT comes with standard LED headlights and daytime running lights, VW’s nicer-looking R-Line bumper with a honeycomb grille, GT badge and a red accent line like the Golf GTI. In back, the GT gets a black spoiler, dark taillights and dual exhaust. It gets a lot of R-Line pieces, though it won’t replace the R-Line in the lineup, says VW.

Two-tone, 19-inch “Tornado” wheels and red brake calipers fill the wheel wells, and a sport suspension delivers a better stance.

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Inside, there’s a bunch of piano black and carbon-fiber accents, as well as black and gray seats with contrasting stitching. A leather-wrapped steering wheel, eight-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and heated side mirrors are standard. It also comes with VW’s Composition Media infotainment setup with a 6.3-inch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, two USB ports and satellite radio.

As for the VR6 engine, peak power comes at 6,200 rpm and peak torque comes at 2,500; a six-speed dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters is standard. Mileage is rated at 19 city and 28 highway.

We first saw the Passat GT as a concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2016 looking nearly production-ready, so this intro isn’t a surprise. The only thing that is a little surprising is that anyone is adding more sedan variations to the lineup, considering the way crossovers and SUVs are trending. But we’ll never complain about a little more sport in our sedans, and that VR6 engine has been a prime-time performer for years.

The Passat GT goes on sale in the second quarter of 2018 starting at $ 29,940 including destination. We’ll get a look in person at the Detroit auto show next week — and hopefully a drive in the next few months.

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2018 Volkswagen Passat GT wants to be a GTI for grown-ups