Racier Volkswagen Passat GT moves from concept to production

It could hit dealerships by the end of the year.

Volkswagen

When Volkswagen unveiled the Passat GT concept at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, it looked pretty well prepared for production. As it turns out, there was a reason for that.

The Passat GT will make the leap from concept to production vehicle in the next few months, Volkswagen says. It'll arrive as part of the 2018 model year, and it could be at dealerships before the end of the calendar year, but an official debut date is still a mystery.

It's nothing too drastic, but the changes give this midsize sedan a new lease on life.

Volkswagen

There's a whole lot of Golf GTI hot-hatch inspiration in the Passat GT concept. It wears red stripes above and below the gloss-black grille, rounded out with new bumpers and a whole bunch of black trim that extends to the mirror caps and roof. The brakes are red, to match the accent stripes, and there's a sportier muffler design out back. It rides 0.6 inches lower to the ground than a standard Passat.

Inside, the changes are much more subdued. There's a carbon-fiber pattern trim on the doors and dashboard, as well as a black headliner and piano-black trim on the center console. The sports seats rock a gray and black motif with contrast stitching, and that's about it.

Under the hood is a VR6 engine -- like a V6, but with a narrower angle between the two cylinder banks -- good for 280 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Expect only two driven wheels, the ones up front. Digital Trends reports it'll carry a price tag around $30,000, which would put it just below the current Passat's V6 SE trim.

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