X

The next Volkswagen Passat could be electric

After the current Passat goes away, its successor likely won't be gas-powered.

volkswagen-passat-sel-2020-02534
Enlarge Image
volkswagen-passat-sel-2020-02534

The Passat received a mild refresh in late 2019.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The is one of longest-running nameplates in the US. Yet the most recent version of this midsize sedan is, well, maybe not the company's best effort. And with VW focusing firmly on SUVs and electric vehicles, where does that leave the slow-selling Passat?

"[The] Passat is a car that has a finite lifespan in terms of our planning," Johan de Nysschen, Volkswagen of America's chief operating officer, told Roadshow on Thursday at the Chicago Auto Show . Given the fact that Volkswagen only moved 14,123 Passats in the US in 2019, this doesn't seem like a bad decision.

But what comes after the current Passat? "It's probably a reasonable assumption that when this Passat reaches the end of its lifecycle, its successor will probably not feature an internal combustion engine," de Nysschen said.

rs-detroit2019-volkswagen-passat-holdingstill
Watch this: 2020 Volkswagen Passat gets a slight refresh at the Detroit Auto Show

Volkswagen has said it will likely build a production version of the ID Vizzion sedan concept, so this could make sense as a Passat replacement.

We think Volkswagen should just call this new EV the Pazzat -- since VW really seems to love that double-Z nomenclature for its electric concepts. When we told de Nysschen this, he chuckled and agreed, though admits he "has a preference for weird alphanumerics."

2020 Volkswagen Passat: Almost all-new

See all photos
steven-ewing-headshot
steven-ewing-headshot
Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Steven Ewing
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.

Article updated on February 6, 2020 at 11:22 AM PST

Our Experts

steven-ewing-headshot
Written by 
Steven Ewing
CNET staff -- not advertisers, partners or business interests -- determine how we review the products and services we cover. If you buy through our links, we may get paid. Reviews ethics statement
steven-ewing-headshot
Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Why You Can Trust CNET
174175176177178179180+
Experts Interviewed
030405060708091011121314+
Companies Reviewed
108109110111112113+
Products Reviewed