The rumors were true – Volkswagen is discontinuing the Passat in Europe as well. The next-generation model debuting in the coming weeks or months will be sold strictly as a wagon. Company boss Thomas Schäfer told Automotive News Europe a decision has been taken to axe the good ol' saloon, even though it was the best-selling car in its segment last year in Europe. In the United States, the Passat was dropped after the 2022 model year.
VW's head honcho went on to say deliveries of the new Passat are scheduled to commence in September, which implies the official reveal will take place sometime this summer or even sooner. The midsize car will no longer be made in Emden (Germany) as production is moving to Bratislava (Slovakia). Assembly of the previous-gen sedan ended in January 2022.
2024 VW Passat new spy photos
Similarly, the assembly of the mechanically related Skoda Superb will be relocated from Kvasiny (Czech Republic) to the same factory in Bratislava. The next Superb will be offered in both liftback and wagon body styles. Schäfer told ANE deliveries of Skoda's flagship model will kick off near the end of the year. In 2022, the Superb was the second-best-selling car in its segment, after the Passat.
The death of the Passat Sedan follows other once-popular midsize cars that have been dropped from the Old Continent in recent times. We're talking about the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia and the Ford Mondeo. The Peugeot 508 recently went through a mid-cycle facelift, which means it'll stick around for a few more years. Despite its venerable age, the Mazda6 is still available.
Although the Passat Sedan is officially no more, VW still offers the Arteon as a sleeker liftback substitute, complemented by a wagon dubbed Shooting Brake as well. Interestingly, Schäfer says the next-gen Passat has been developed by Skoda, without going into details. Logic tells us it'll ride on an evolution of the MQB platform with cleaner gasoline and diesel engines engineered to meet Euro 7 regulations. The next Superb has already been confirmed with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, so it should be the same story with its fancier sibling.
Lest we forget VW will launch this year a similarly sized ID.7 electric car, and if the ID. Space Vizzion concept was an indication, a wagon will follow later this decade.