German car maker has officially unveiled a plug-in hybrid variant of its sedan, the Passat. The new Passat is equipped with progressive drive, assistance and infotainment systems, it is high-tech encapsulated in a powerful design with sharp proportions. The Passat GTE is showcased in a world premiere at the Paris Motor Show.
It is a zero-emission and long-distance vehicle in one and available as a saloon or estate. In GTE mode, the Volkswagen also has a sporty side. Plug-in hybrid, in this case, means the combination of a turbocharged direct injection petrol engine (TSI) with an electric motor, which is supplied with energy from an externally (or in Charge mode) chargeable lithium-ion battery. Thanks to this battery, the Passat GTE can cover a distance of up to 31 miles in all-electric mode and thus with zero emissions.
A contrast to the “E-Mode” is offered by the mode “GTE”, which is also accessible at the press of a button – in this mode, the Passat delivers a maximum system output of 160 kW / 218 PS; a wide variety of parameters such as the accelerator pedal and steering are also configured in a sportier way in this mode. The 1.4-litre TSI engine develops a power of 115 kW / 156 PS (as of 5,000 rpm); the electric motor produces 85 kW / 15 PS. The maximum torque of the plug-in hybrid drive system is 400 Nm. Performance and power are deployed both efficiently and in an eco-friendly way. The NEDC consumption (for hybrid vehicles) is over 141 mpg (under 2.0 l/100 km) and 13.0 kWh/100 km. In combination with the TSI, this results in a driving range of over 620 miles with a full 50-litre fuel tank and fully charged battery – with it, the Passat GTE covers the route from Paris to London and back without refuelling.
The Passat GTE, always with front-wheel drive and equipped as standard with a six-gear dual clutch gearbox especially developed for the hybrid drive, accelerates to 62 mph in less than 8.0 seconds and achieves a top speed of more than 136 mph; in “E-Mode,” 80 mph.
With the market launch of the plug-in hybrid, a total of nine drive versions, covering a power range from 92 kW / 125 PS to 206 kW / 280 PS, will be available for the European version of the Passat. All versions meet the EU 6 emissions standard.
The list of standard equipment on the Passat GTE includes many features that are also available in other models of the range, either as an option or without extra charge, depending on the equipment version: LED headlights, Driver Alert System, Automatic Post-Collision Braking system, Front Assist including City Emergency Braking function, rain sensor and ParkPilot. On the other hand, as a high-tech flagship, the Passat GTE features several unique elements and equipment upgrades which distinguish it from the rest of the range.
The interior was likewise fine-tuned for the new drive system. With a menu matrix for the functions and displays related to the drive system, the engineers and interface designers at Volkswagen TE (Technical Development Centre) tailored features such as the standard “Composition Media” infotainment system and the instrument cluster (with power meter) for the plug-in hybrid drive. In addition, the innovative Active Info Display with specific displays will be also available as an option for the Passat GTE. Standard details such as the blue ambient lighting, leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel with blue decorative stitching, GTE specific gear knob with blue stitching and seats covered in “Sevilla” cloth with a blue basic structure have also been especially configured to the Passat GTE. Furthermore, the interior was enhanced by the “Waves” design (aluminium look) and “Piano Black” (high-gloss black) as well as a GTE logo in front of the gear shift gate.
The owner of the new Passat GTE can make use of the “CAR-NET e-Remote” app, by which the charging of the battery, for instance, can be started via smartphone. Likewise, all climate control functions can be activated via the smartphone. In addition, information on the vehicle status, state of charge of the battery, recent driving data or last parking position can be queried. It is also possible to check whether the doors are closed and the lights turned off.
The new Passat GTE will be launched with the high resolution 6.5-inch display of the standard “Composition Media” infotainment system. Optional: the “Discover Media” (also with a 6.5-inch display) and “Discover Pro” (with an 8.0-inch display) radio-navigation systems. Both devices feature numerous additional functions in the Passat GTE. They include a “range monitor”, an “energy flow indicator”, “zero-emission statistics”, “e-manager” and – when the optional navigation system is installed – the “360° range” feature.
Volkswagen is offering an optional instrument cluster that has been designed as a full interactive display: the Active Info Display. All instruments – thus also the specific displays in the Passat GTE – are implemented virtually. Navigation information can be shown in 2-D or 3-D views on a 12.3-inch display. Its resolution of 1,440 x 540 pixels enables extremely precise, high-quality graphics and interactive display of all details. Take the Navigation mode, for instance: here the speedometer and tachometer are relocated to the sides to make more room for the map display. Information on driving, navigation and assistance functions can be integrated into the graphic areas of the speedometer and tachometer as needed.
Data that is displayed on the centre console via the infotainment system, such as phone contact pages or CD covers, can also be shown in the Active Info Display in the Passat. In fact, the driver can find all information relevant to driving in his or her direct field of view. As described above, he or she can pull up important data he needs according to the situation at hand and then use it in an individually selected display. The Passat GTE will be launched in the second half of next year – both as a saloon and an estate and will become available to order in the UK in June, with first deliveries in October 2015.
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