Volkswagen will reduce the 2019 Passat's lineup to just two trims, The Car Connection reports, citing a conversation from VW. The only two trims on offer for the 2019 model year will be the Wolfsburg Edition and the SE R-Line. The S, SEL and sporty GT trims will be discontinued after the 2018 model year.
According to The Car Connection, the Passat Wolfsburg Edition will serve as the base model. It'll have keyless start, a leatherette interior, blind spot monitoring and automatic braking. A moonroof and larger 18-inch alloy wheels (17-inchers are standard) will be available as options. Moving up to the SE R-Line trim adds adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, an infotainment system with navigation and LED headlights and taillights.
In terms of powertrain, the culling also removes the 280-horsepower V6 from the lineup. TCC reports that the only available engine will be VW's 2.0-liter I4, which puts out 174 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, and it's mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic.
While Volkswagen hasn't offered up any additional information regarding the 2019 Passat, including prices or on-sale dates, most folks will likely keep their eyes peeled for the next-generation Passat, which could come online as early as the 2020 model year. It will likely carry a number of upgrades seen on the, including Volkswagen's Digital Cockpit, which replaces the gauge cluster with a configurable display, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
The Passat GT was a pretty gnarly mid-size sedan. It was lower and angrier than other Passat variants, sort of like a Jetta GLI but larger. In fact, it carried many of the GLI's design staples, like a more aggressive front bumper with red trim. Roadshow's Jon Wong and referred to it as "a welcome shot in the arm for the aging midsize sedan."