VW promises lighter, more fuel-efficient Passat

VW says the new Passat will have smaller dimensions than the current model, but offer more interior space.
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FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen has released sketches of its eighth-generation Passat ahead of the car's official unveiling at the Paris auto show in October.

VW says the new mid-sized Passat will be 85kg (187 pounds) lighter than the current model due to the use of lightweight materials including aluminum. Resulting fuel efficiency will improve by up to 20 percent, the carmaker said.

Despite being smaller than the current Passat, the new sedan and wagon variants will offer more legroom, headroom and luggage space, VW said in a statement. All Passat models will now feature LED taillights, with the option of LED headlights.

A plug-in hybrid version is also planned for the lineup, VW said.

The use of lightweight materials will offer fuel savings of up to 20 percent in the new Passat, VW says.

New technology in the Passat will include a 12.3-inch TFT touchscreen display that will replace the instrument cluster, a modular infotainment system that will allow the driver's smartphone to connect remotely with the vehicle, and an upgraded park assist system. Additional safety options will also include front assist, which uses both camera and radar sensors to detect and react to potential collisions.

VW says it has sold 23 million Passats in the 41 years it has been building the car. In the first four months of 2014, the carmaker sold 50,522 Passats, a drop of 5 percent, according to data from JATO Dynamics, but it still Europe's top-selling mid-sized car. The Passat was VW’s No. 4 seller in Europe after the Golf, Polo and Tiguan.

VW said it will provide further details on the Passat ahead of the Paris show and the start of European deliveries early next year.

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