Mike Stevens | Mar 14, 2012

Volkswagen's Passat was recently given an extensive styling overhaul resulting in an all-new VW-family look. But, down below, the German family car has been riding on the same architecture since 2005.

As good as the 'new' Passat is (TMR's reviews have ranged from 3.5 to 4-star results), an all-new model is expected to make a late 2013 debut, in time for the 2014 model year.

Tightening emissions laws around the world mean that the new Passat will be lighter than its predecessor, thanks to a greater use of aluminium and the adoption of Volkswagen's versatile new MQB platform.

"Going forward, all Group vehicles in the Polo, Golf and Passat segments will be based on the MQB. That is more than 40 models and 3.5 million units per year," Volkswagen boss Martin Winterkorn told workers in Wolfsburg in January.

Built to be lighter than all of the brand's current equivalent platforms, the MQB platform alone should help the new Passat shave more than 50kg off the kerb weight of the current model.

Spied here in a modified version of the current model's body, the new Passat will clearly feature a wider body and track, offering a more spacious cabin.

The test mule here also looks to have a longer wheelbase, meaning we can expect improved legroom and storage capacity in the new Passat.

It's too soon to say what we'll find under the bonnet of the 2014 Passat, although a hybrid powertrain - and possibly a plug-in electric vehicle system - are expected to debut sometime after launch.

The first Volkswagen-badged car to debut on the new MQB platform will be the all-new Golf MkVII, due to appear at August's Paris Motor Show. We can expect to see the new Passat sometime in late 2013.

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