New 2019 Volkswagen Passat GTE Plug-In Hybrid Revealed

FEB 5 2019 BY MARK KANE 42

Volkswagen Passat GTE gets 31% more battery capacity

Volkswagen just introduced the new facelifted Passat, which looks sleek and without a doubt is one of the best-looking cars in its segment. The latest iteration comes on the market when the German manufacturer expects to sell its 30 millionth unit (second best-selling Volkswagen ever).

Besides the enhanced look, Passat got updated tech and most importantly for the plug-in hybrid version, there is significantly more range. We knew that the new PHEV was coming since summer 2018 when the test mule was spotted in camouflage.

Volkswagen will offer Passat GTE (sedan) and Passat Variant GTE (estate) with a 13.0 kWh battery (up 31% from 9.9 kWh), which will be enough for 55 km (34 miles) under the WLTP test cycle. The 70 km (43.5 miles) of NEDC (50 km more than previously) suggests that range improved by 40%.

According to the press release, pre-sales of new Passat will start in May in some European countries and the market launch will start from the end of August onwards (Germany), but we are not sure whether GTE will be available immediately like the conventional versions.

It’s of course great to see that the Passat GTE will be back, after the previous version was prematurely deleted from the offer in September 2018, because it wasn’t worth certifying it for the WLTP requirements ahead of the facelift.

Volkswagen Passat GTE specs:

  • 13.0 kWh battery (31% more energy than previous generation – 9.9 kWh)
  • up to 55 km (34 miles) of WLTP range; up to 70 km (43.5 miles) of NEDC range (20 km or 40% more than previous generation)
  • system output: 160 kW (218 PS) from 1.4 TSI gasoline turbocharged engine (110 kW / 150 PS) and 85 kW / 115 PS electric motor.
  • 3.6 kW on-board charger (full recharge in around four hours)
7 photos

From press release:

Passat GTE and Passat Variant GTE

Zero emissions in the city. Volkswagen will launch the new Passat GTE with an enhanced plug-in hybrid drive as both saloon and estate models. The combination of electric motor and petrol engine brings great benefits: On the one hand, the GTE models with their combination of electric drive mo-tor and efficient turbocharged petrol engine (160 kW / 218 PS system power) provide the benefits of a long-distance vehicle. On the other, they can be used as a zero-emission vehicle in the urban environment. With the new Passat, this now works even more impressively because the new GTE is equipped with an even larger battery. The battery’s energy content has been increased from 9.9 kWh to 13.0 kWh – a plus of 31 per cent. The pure electric range was thus extended correspondingly. This is now up to ap-prox. 55 km** in the new, realistic WLTP cycle; this is equivalent to a range of around 70 km** in the old cycle (NEDC) (20 km** more than the prede-cessor). In addition, a new operating mode configuration has made it much easier to reserve sufficient battery capacity for the target destination in a city. The plug-in hybrid drive is recommended for most commuters as the ideal engine and the Passat GTE can be used as a zero-emission vehicle in a targeted manner in urban areas and can therefore be exempt from road tolls in major cities such as London (congestion charge).

New operating mode configuration. The Passat GTE always starts in E-MODE if the lithium-ion battery is sufficiently charged. The high-voltage battery in the Passat GTE models can be charged via the external electricity grid or via the internal TSI engine and recuperation during the journey. In order to be able to travel in E-MODE in town at the end of a longer trip, Volkswagen has reconfigured the operating modes of the hybrid system and therefore simplified battery recharging during the journey. Instead of the previous five operating modes, there are now only three:

  • E-MODE (purely electric driving)
  • GTE (sporty driving with full system power)
  • Hybrid (automatic switchover between electric motor and TSI)
  • The two previous modes Battery Hold (maintaining battery charge level) and Battery Charge (charge battery via TSI) were integrated into the Hybrid mode in the new Passat GTE.

Intuitive charging during the journey. The driver selects the Driving Mode menu via the Infotainment system to charge the battery during the jour-ney. E-MODE and Hybrid modes are available for selection here. If the driv-er selects the Hybrid field, a battery with ten scale steps is shown together with an equals sign (“=”) as well as arrows pointing upwards (“∧”) or downwards (“∨”). If the driver selects “=“, the battery’s energy level is maintained at the same level; if they select “∧” then the battery is charged via TSI and recuperation to the selected level on the scale; if they select “∨” then the battery can be used until it falls to the minimum level.

Charging via the electricity grid. The Passat GTE is equipped with a 3.6 kW battery charger. When connected to a conventional electrical grid with 230 volts / 2.3 kW, the battery – if completely empty – will be fully charged within six hours and 15 minutes. The charging time falls to four hours with a wall box or a charging station with 360 volts / 3.6 kW. Charging starts with connecting the plug. Delayed charging is another available option. The time delay can be set using either the Infotainment system or an app. The charging process can also be activated directly via the app – in much the same way as a remote control. In addition to the charging process, the temperature inside the vehicle can be raised or lowered – depending on the temperature outside – via the time pre-set function.

Overview of drive components. The new Passat GTE is powered by a turbo-charged stratified injection engine (1.4 TSI) and an electric motor. This TSI engine delivers 115 kW / 156 PS. The electric motor generates precisely 85kW / 115 PS. The new high-voltage battery – located in the vehicle floor in front of the rear axle – supplies the electric motor with power. For power transmission, the Volkswagen is equipped with an automatic 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DQ400E) developed especially for use in hybrid vehicles. Other components of the hybrid drive include power electronics (this con-verts the battery’s direct current into alternating current for the electric motor) and the battery charger.

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42 Comments on "New 2019 Volkswagen Passat GTE Plug-In Hybrid Revealed"

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VW shows that you can both make compliance cars AND nice EVs (ID models, Taycan, etc). They aren’t mutually exclusive. I wish Toyota, Honda, et al would realize that.

70 km on NEDC is not bad at all, the wagon would be a nice family cruiser.

You mention models that nobody knows are nice or not… Hopefully they’ll be nice.

It’s certainly a great improvement, now one more such upgrade to the battery and they will have really hit the sweet spot.

This is the European (and other) market car; the U.S. car made in Tenn. is different (cheaper to make) and U.S. only. There is not and will not be a U.S. market PHEV Passat or any other VW.

Next gen with VW MEB platform battery will go up

Here here

“3.6 kW on-board charger”
What is this? 2015? That’s what they gave eGolf when they first sold it.
Should be a good plug and i’m sure the battery size will increase in the future.

3.6 kW charger is perfectly ok on a PHEV.

LOL….even the Clarity phev has 6kW. Come on now.

No it isn’t even GM figured it out with the 2019 Volt. Yeah than they blew a shart and cancelled it.

Yes, but 22kW DC would be REALLY nice. The Outlander can do it… I’d love to be able to cram a few kWh into my Golf GTE’s battery during a coffee break. As it is, charging is only really worth it if you’re going to be stopping somewhere for half an hour or more.

Charging time is low enough. It would be mostly irrelevant to charge it faster – range is huge, if a few times in the year the charge goes low in a bad time it’s no big deal.
Charging with more power would require in most countries extra costs for the electricity as there’s a hit for more maximum power.

You don’t drive ev, do you? Most have an option to adjust charging speed if that’s what you want. It can also be adjusted on your wall charger.

That depends on your use case. When I commute home with my Volt on Fridays I have to wait 2.5 hours to charge my battery at 3.6 kWh to full so I can make it to my country cottage with zero use of gas. At 7.2 kWh charge rate I would only wait a little more than an hour. Which is fine as I have to eat supper and prepare for a weekend of things. Now because the Passat has so much less range makes it even more important to charge faster. Do you think there is unlimited work place level 2 chargers? No. Your coworkers will thank you for only using the L2 plug for 2 hours instead of four. Anybody thinking 3.6 kW charge rate is acceptable for a new 2019 Model PHEV is in some sort of delirious timewarp circa 2011.

For someone, like me, who only drives 40Km a day and can charge the car at home, it is more than enough 😉

All you have to do now is buy all the cars they produce…since they are all tailored to your needs.

I drive 100+ km every day with Passat GTE and would really like to have 11kW 3-phase charger…

Careful with those units, Threader 😉

For a Phev is not bad

Agree. 3.6 kW charger is a sin in 2019. Yah, it would be fine when the driver charge at home.
But not for public charging station, these cars will take up the space longer.

VW sill doing PHEVs wrong by including a multispeed transmission.

They are almost all done that way unless they are a series hybrid with one speed hookup to the engine for highway cursing. For this you need a bigger electric motor. Multi speed trans is a torque multiplier and gives you more performance from both the engine and electric motor.

This is good, but also frustrating…

Given how long we have known what pollution and CO2 are doing, every new car should have been at least this level of electrification back in 2015!

But given the choices that exist right now, if I didn’t already have a PHEV, this sure looks like a good choice.

I’ll give it one compliment. It looks better than a Honda Clarity PHEV on the outside. Underneath though it still engineered, designed and manufactured by the same head office that brought you clean diesel.

Why can we not just get the egolf and egaolf estate here, why only hybrids. Givebme a full electric modle and ill get one VW

There are NO VW hybrids or PHEVs sold in the U.S. Some years ago there was a Jetta hybrid.

There is no e-Golf or Golf GTE estate. Which is a fact that constantly irks me.

Interesting to note they went with a conventional 6 speed gear box instead of the simple and efficient 2 motor parallel hybrid transmission that has become the defacto choice for front wheel drive hybrids (original Escape hybrid and subsequent Fords, Pacifica, even Toyota recently switched to this design from their original configuration).

It’s almost as if we’re entering a “revenge of the mechanical engineer” period where they just want to wrap a motor around the input shaft of a conventional gearbox.

Direct drive through the transmission is more efficient in fossil mode (which the GTE will unfortunately spend rather a lot of time in).

You need to know how taxes work in Germany. Most new cars are company cars and employees pay around 200-300 EUR Tax per month for this benefit. For PHEV taxes are only 50% so this Passat GTE will be a lot cheaper than Diesel or the normal petrol one for most drivers. Even if they never plug it in! Petrol is paid by the company, but electricity you have to pay yourself unless you can charge at work.

And VW Passat is a common company car here in Germany. It’s not cheap, it will have a list price of 40k to 50k EUR. Employees have to pay taxes for 1% of the list price per month. So that 450 EUR seen as additional income, which result in 200-250 EUR taxes to pay monthly.
If it’s a BHEV, you pay half of it since 2019! So expect that Plugin Hybrids will be the most selling cars this year here.
Problem is: how do you force people to charge their car at home, when they have free gas (company pays the petrol usually – also for private rides)

Well I suppose eventually it hits the used car market. And most of a vehicle’s lifespan is spent in that zone.

Are companies in Germany really refunding fuel expenses rather than paying a fixed amount per km? Maintaining a car costs more than just fuel. Also, how to separate fuel expenses of business travel and commuting or other private trips?

Pretty much getting to gen 1 the volt range. I do like the Wagon variant

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Not even close.

Gen 1 Volt started at 35 miles _EPA_, and 2 years later went to 38 miles _EPA_. This is 34 miles _WLTP_.

13.0kWh is total or usable?

Total. The Golf is always listed as 8.8 kWh, but it only has about 6.8 available. The Passat was always listed as 9.9 kWh, but has less (I’m not sure exactly how much) available.

I wish this powertrain wa available in the T6 family van. I do wonder though if this gasoline engine is one with particle filter now. The previous version had high particulate emissions.

a) Holy cow do I agree. But with a 20 kWh battery and CCS.
b) Probably has a filter, otherwise they’d never get Euro 6d temp.

Btw. the new Passat GTE already gets Euro 6d. Without temp.. it is the only VW better than 6d temp yet.
Source: https://www.heise.de/autos/artikel/Vorstellung-VW-Passat-Facelift-2019-4298239.html (german)

Thanks for the link! “Wie alle Ottomotoren im überarbeiteten VW Passat hat auch der Plug-in-Hybrid einen Partikelfilter.” Good.

Although I got a used Tesla Model S a year ago, I looked at the Passat GTE at the time and was very put off by the high particulate emissions.

So basically what exactly has been improved in the new GTE 2019 version apart from facelift?