If you didn’t notice Volkswagen’s introduction of the Passat Performance Concept at the North American International Auto Show last January, don’t feel bad. The prettied-up Passat was easily overlooked in the shuffle of flashy dream cars and brand-new exotics. You’ll get a second chance to see the car anyway, as the Performance Concept becomes a real production car, named Passat Sport.
Arriving early this year, the Passat Sport sports a striking black roof panel and mirror caps, as well as unmistakable huge nineteen-inch wheels. VW also adds a rear spoiler, standard fog lights, and a unique limited color palette. The Passat Sport’s interior is dressed up with sport seats, stainless steel sill plates and carbon fiber style trim.
It’s based on the Passat SE, so standard equipment also includes a touchscreen sound system with HD radio, a backup camera, headed front seats and Volkswagen’s new Car-Net system. Power’s provided by the new 1.8 liter turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder. The new engine offers a modest 170 horsepower coupled to a very healthy 184 pound-feet of torque, and based on the brief drive we got with this engine earlier in the year, it’s smooth and powerful enough to cart this mid-size sedan along with aplomb while still returning respectable fuel economy. Five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions are offered.
The 2014 Passat Sport starts at $27,295 with the five-speed manual and $28,495 for the automatic.