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£34K price-tag for VW’s plug-in Passat

Plug-in hybrid Passat claims 166 mpg and emissions of 39g/km.

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Volkswagen is opening order books for its Passat GTE, the first plug-in hybrid version of the car.

The new Passat will be on sale in both saloon and estate body styles at prices starting from £36,525. However this drops by £2,500 when the Government’s plug-in car grant is taken into account.

Passat GTE variants produce a total of 215bhp and 295lbft of torque, matching an electric motor of 114bhp to the 1.4-litre TSI turbo petrol engine of 153bhp. On its own the electric motor can dial up an immediate 243lbft, resulting in a 7.6-second 0-62mph time and a 140mph top speed.

Alongside this the official combined-cycle fuel consumption figure is 166mpg, with CO2 emissions of 39g/km. The car also has an electric-only range of up to 31 miles and its lithium-ion battery pack, mounted under the rear floor, can be recharged using a standard UK domestic mains outlet in around four hours 15 minutes, or in two hours 30 minutes from a dedicated wallbox with a 3.6 kW supply.

Technology on the Passat GTE includes a bespoke six-speed DSG gearbox with a third clutch.  This decouples the TSI motor whenever possible, allowing the car to make best use of kinetic energy, further improving its efficiency.

GTE models can be distinguished from standard Passats by C-shaped LED daytime running lights and an additional blue line across the radiator grille, above a redesigned front bumper.

Volkswagen Passat GTE saloon and estate (The Car Expert)

Standard equipment inside includes blue ambient lighting, a leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel with blue decorative stitching, a GTE-specific gear knob with blue stitching and seats in Alcantara with Vienna leather side bolsters.

Also available for the GTE is Volksawgen’s Car-Net e-Remote smartphone app. This allows the driver to activate several controls remotely using their phone, including the climate control, door locking and lights, while also checking on the battery’s state of charge.

UK GTE models will be sold in two trim levels. Standard cars are based on the Passat GT specification, which includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist and City Emergency Braking, Discover Navigation, Bluetooth and parking sensors.

To this are added LED headlights and tail lights, Mode 2&3 charging cables and the Car-Net e-Remote app.

GTE Advance versions also include the new Active Info Display digital dashboard, Discover Pro navigation on an eight-inch screen, Nappa leather, the Area View function and LED premium headlights.

First cars are expected on UK roads in August.


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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.