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Auto Show:  2016 La Auto Show

Volkswagen Passat GT Concept: LA Auto Show

author photo by Colin Ryan November 2016

What Is It?

At least the Volkswagen Passat GT Concept isn't some madcap idea that never has a hope of being sold. This is a sporty treatment of VW's mainstream sedan, much like the GTI is the sportiest version of the Golf. The Passat GT has similar styling touches to the GTI. It seems like the kind of thing VW can do without stretching any resources or even finding a new design formula.

The black grille has the same honeycomb pattern as the GTI's, along with red accent lines. The front bumper has more prominent air vents below those LED headlights, and behind the 19-inch alloy wheels are red-painted brake calipers. The suspension has been lowered by 0.6 inches, so it can look a little more purposeful. And check out the black roof and rear spoiler.

Around the back, under smoked taillights, are twin exhaust pipes to remind us that the engine is one of VW's excellent 3.6-liter 280-horsepower VR6 units. It's connected to a 6-speed direct-shift-gearbox dual-clutch semi-automated transmission, which can be operated by steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. The cabin has a black-and-gray color scheme with sports seats and carbon-fiber trim pieces.

Will They Ever Sell It?

The official line is that this car "previews a potential addition to the Passat lineup." This is based on the North American version of the Passat, so that's a good sign for possible production.

Volkswagen really ought to make it. The Passat is hardly the most thrilling ride, nor does it enjoy distinctive styling. Basically, it needs perking up, and this GT concept is a great way to accomplish that.

Why It's Important

The Volkswagen Passat GT Concept shows us that although the company has been through a difficult time with the TDI troubles (caused by its own actions), it isn't just trying to win the green vote with electric-powered concepts. It also recognizes a core of VW enthusiasts and wants to keep them on board.

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Volkswagen Passat GT Concept: LA Auto Show - Autotrader