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New Volkswagen Passat due on sale later this year

Date: 27 May 2014

Volkswagen has released the first preview of how its 2015 model Passat is shaping up - with first orders being taken for the car at the end of this year.

Early artists impressions (pictured) reveal the new car is expected to feature bold new styling that will take it on significantly from its present guise.

Much anticipation has surrounded its key models, which are expected to prove highly influential within the fleet market. These include a 2-litre bi turbo-diesel engine with 237hp that comes equipped with a seven-speed DSG gearbox and 4motion four-wheel drive.

Its capabilities are likely to be noticeably improved due to 85kg in weight being shaved off the present car - due to an enhanced use of aluminium components.

Volkswagen will also include a plug-in hybrid version combining a 154hp 1.4 TSI engine with a 107 hp electric motor within the range. This is reportedly capable of 31 miles in electric mode and has an overall range of 600 miles.

Fuel economy figures have yet to be released, though its lighter construction is expected to improve its performance.

Core features will include a 12.3inch screen driver information display delivering its navigation and safety assistance data.

It is also the first of the brand's cars to be equipped with an additional head-up display, showing key details directly within a driver's field of vision, including projecting warning signs to assist in reducing reaction time to road conditions.

The car also features 3-D obstacle technology first introduced in the Touareg, with enhancements to offer bird's-eye road perspectives.

A spokesperson for Volkswagen explained there had already been a strong deal of fleet interest in the car.

Speaking to BusinessCar, he said: "Sales for the Passat have been between 80 and 90% based within the fleet market and we are expecting that to continue with the new model.

"The new car is gaining its public launch in July and will making its full debut at the next Paris motor show.

We are excited about the launch of the new car, which will feature lots of technology and has the advantage of being lighter and has more internals space.

"For 2013, there were 1,7 276 Passat sales, with 12, 652 of those being in the fleet market, with 5,767 being for the saloon model and 7,085 for the estate- with the estate having been the biggest seller since 2011."

Prices for the new car are due to be released in July.