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Sportier Volkswagen Passat under consideration

A prototype has already been built.

Volkswagen is debating whether to build a sportier version of the Passat.

The company recently gave Motor Authority a preview of what a sportier Passat could look like. Cameras weren't allowed in the design studio, but the publication reports that the concept boasts a sporty look characterized by a spoiler, a black roof panel, and GTI-inspired red accents up front. The cabin features carbon fiber-look trim and a black headliner, among other extras.

Executives still haven't decided which engine the model will use. Their options include the 1.8-liter turbo four that's offered on the base Passat, the bigger 3.6-liter V6, or even the 2.0-liter turbo four that's found under the hood of the GTI and the Jetta GLI. And while the prototype sits markedly lower than a stock Passat, there's no word on whether Volkswagen has tweaked the brakes or the steering.

It's important to note that the sportier Passat is merely a design study created by Volkswagen's North American division, and it hasn't been approved for production by the company's top brass in Wolfsburg, Germany. However, the hot-rodded model could be added to the Volkswagen lineup in a timely manner if the company moves forward with the project.

Déjà vu

The idea of a performance-focused Passat isn't new. In 1977, Volkswagen stuffed a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine borrowed from the Audi 80 GTE between the fenders of a first-generation, two-door Passat and slapped a GTI badge on the hatch. The 110-horsepower Passat GTI prototype also gained wider tires, a stiffer suspension, and spoilers on both ends. It was tested out on the open road, but the project was quickly canned by former Volkswagen boss Toni Schmücker because he believed that the Passat wasn't the right candidate to receive a powerful engine.

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