Offering an early look at an enthusiast-oriented variation with legitimate production potential, the Volkswagen Passat Performance Concept makes its world debut in Detroit. Subtle but effective visual changes to this one-off take on VW's flagship 4-door are coupled with a potent turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and focused chassis revamps to create sport-spec sedan that complements the Passat's outstanding practicality with an equal measure of pure driving fun.

          Also: See more brand new models unveiled in Detroit

Exterior enhancements on the Passat Performance Concept include the automaker's Advanced Front Lighting system with bi-xenon headlamps, unique LED taillights, bright-finish dual exhaust outlets, a 19-inch wheel/tire package and carbon fiber appliqués on the side-mirror caps. Inside, the carbon fiber theme carries over in the form of various trim bits as well as composite-look inserts on the car's two-tone leather seats. 

Powering the Passat Performance Concept is a modified version of VW's EA888 1.8-liter TFSI engine that's already being used in various European and Asian markets. This turbocharged/direct-injected gasoline-burning 4-cylinder makes a stout 250 horsepower in Performance Concept form and is backed by a 6-speed automatic transmission. Beyond any future Passat duty, that combo also would seem to be rather well-suited for use in a number of other models in VW's U.S. lineup.

Final pieces of the Performance Concept puzzle consist of a tauter, lower sport suspension and a more communicative electro-mechanical power steering unit. With a bit of luck and lots of positive public response, it's quite possible we'll see a volume-build version of the VW Passat Performance Concept turn up in showrooms here in the not-too-distant future.

On the confirmed news front, Volkswagen also noted that its 2014 Tiguan and 2014 Touareg crossover SUVs set to arrive here in the fall will be available with the same "performance-inspired" R-Line trim packages that have already been introduced in the European market. The 2014 Tiguan also becomes the fourth model to offer VW's trick 400-watt Fender Premium Audio System as an option.


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