Volkswagen’s has added an improved GTE plug-in hybrid option to its revised Passat range.
The Passat GTE will be fitted with a 13 kWh battery which will be capable an electric driving range of 34 miles on a single charge, based on the WLTP tests.
VW says a new operating mode will make it easier to hold the car's charge for urban driving. ‘E-Mode' is for electric power only, 'GTE' uses both systems on maximum power while ’Hybrid' manages use of both the electric and petrol powertrains automatically.
Charging remains on Type 2 with a 3.6 kW on-board charger. Charging times can be programmed via the car or an app.
The petrol engine part of the powertrain is VW's 1.4 TSI unit, delivering 156 hp to complement the 85 kW (115 hp) electric motor. Power goes through a six-speed DSG gearbox.
Other highlights of the Passat range include the introduction of IQ.Drive, a driver assistance system that allows semi-autonomous driving.
Designed for heavy traffic or motorway driving, the combination of adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and other safety systems, will keep the car in a lane and accelerate, brake, or hold speed by itself - though the driver remains in control at all times. VW's IQ.Drive can recognise roundabouts, junctions, and speed limit changes and adjust its settings automatically.