2018 VW Passat GT Launched in Detroit
Volkswagen will sell a limited number of the new 2018 VW Passat GT model, a sporty version of its midsize sedan that adds a more powerful 3.6-liter VR6 engine, lower suspension, sport exhaust and some borrowed R-Line styling.
The special model, which starts at $29,940 including destination bowed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It’s set to arrive in U.S. showrooms during the second quarter.
The production model looks nearly identical to the concept Passat GT that VW revealed at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. Based off VW’s R-Line trim, the Passat GT has standard LED headlights and LED daytime running lights. With its R-Line fascia, the Passat GT has an aggressive nose that also sports a darkened honeycomb grille. A red accent line borders the grille and headlights, a shout-out for fans of the high-performance Golf GTI. The car also receives GT badging in the grille, back of the car and inside.
Available in four body colors (Pure White, Reflex Silver, Platinum Grey and Deep Black) the 2018 Passat GT’s black painted roof offers a contrast. Black mirror caps and window and door trim complete the sporty look. The Passat GT rides on two-tone, 19-inch “Tornado” wheels that include a view of the red brake calipers. The rear features a black spoiler, blackened LED taillights, black bumper trim and a double exhaust with an acoustic package.
Under the hood, the Passat GT gets the 3.6-liter VR6 engine, cranking out 280 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm on regular unleaded gasoline. With a 6-speed DSG auto transmission, drivers wanting a bit more shifting fun can use the paddles mounted to the steering wheel.
Fuel economy is estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency at 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg highway. The GT version adds more than 100 horsepower to a base 2018 Passat, which starts at $23,845 and has a 2-liter, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine, generating 174 horsepower.
The interior of the 2018 Passat GT features leatherette black seats with Moonrock Gray inserts. Much of the interior is dark, with a piano black center console, vent trim, black headliner, decorated by carbon fiber trim and GT aluminum sill plates. A leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, driver’s power seat, dual climate control and heated side mirrors are among Passat GT’s standard features. A 6.3-inch touchscreen anchors the infotainment system to keep drivers connected. And the sedan features two USB ports -- one in front and one in the rear.
The new Passat GT was designed at Volkswagen’s Engineering and Planning Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Its design included U.S. customer and dealer feedback.
“The Passat GT illustrates how the North American region can shape Volkswagen vehicles specifically for the U.S. market,” Matthias Erb, Volkswagen’s chief engineering officer for the North American region, said in a statement. “Combining a local perspective with our global engineering expertise allows us to create vehicles that meet the needs and desires of customers here.”