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Paris LIVE: 2015 Volkswagen Passat (Euro-spec)

The next Passat inaugurates several new Volkswagen drivetrains.

Volkswagen has officially revealed the all-new 2015 Euro-spec Passat.

The eighth-gen Passat gets a more dynamic-looking design that borrows styling cues such a narrow three-slat radiator grille, a rippled hood and angular headlights from recent Volkswagen concepts like the T-Roc and the NMC. The middle section of the car carries over roughly unchanged, but the rear end features a cleaner design with sharp LED tail lamps and a rounded bumper.

The next Passat is up to 187 pounds lighter than the current model thanks to the use of lightweight materials such as aluminum and high-strength steel. Although it is slightly smaller than the current model in all directions, clever packaging and a longer wheelbase allow it to offer a more spacious cockpit and a bigger trunk.

Inside, the Passat moves up a notch on the market thanks to noticeably improved materials and more high-tech equipment. A 12.3-inch TFT screen similar to the one found on the latest Audi TT replaces the instrument cluster on all but the least expensive trim levels, and high-end models are offered with a heads-up display as well as the latest generation of Volkswagen's touch screen-based infotainment system.

Tech-conscious buyers will be able to order the Passat with a wide array of electronic driving aids including Side Assist with Rear Traffic Assist, Trailer Assist, Front Assist System with Emergency Braking as well as Traffic Jam Assist. Finally, the Passat can park itself when ordered with an optional new function called Park Assist.

Buyers will be asked to choose between ten gasoline- and diesel-burning engines whose outputs range from 118 to 276 horsepower. The headline-grabber is a new 2.0-liter twin-turbocharged TDI mill that will send 236 horsepower and a potent 368 lb-ft. of torque to all four wheels via a seven-speed DSG gearbox and Volkswagen's 4MOTION all-wheel drive system. Volkswagen expects the oil-burner to return up to 47 mpg in a mixed European cycle.

All engines come standard with a start/stop system, but the most fuel-efficient member of the next-gen Passat lineup is a plug-in hybrid model powered by a 1.4-liter TSI four-cylinder engine linked to a 100-horsepower electric motor. The plug-in hybrid Passat boasts a total of 207 horsepower and is capable of cruising on electricity alone for up to 31 miles. With both power sources running, the plug-in hybrid reportedly offers a total driving range of over 600 miles.

The mk8 Passat is on sale now across Germany. The sedan starts at €25,875 (about $35,205), while the station wagon model begins at €25,950 (approximately $35,307).

The Passat pictured above will not be sold on these shores. Although the U.S.-spec model's replacement is still a couple of years away, the current variant is expected to get a thorough facelift in 2016.

Live images by Ronan Glon.

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