VW launches 2018 Passat GT


Passat U.S. sales dropped 17 percent in 2017 to 60,722 deliveries.

Volkswagen will produce a limited run of a U.S.-made Passat GT this year, part of its plans to juice interest as the sedan prepares for a redesign in 2019 onto the automaker’s global MQB platform.

The 2018 Passat GT will feature standard LED lighting, a honeycomb grille and red accent line, the R-Line bumper, two-tone 19-inch wheels, painted brake calipers, a black roof treatment and spoiler, dual exhaust and sport suspension. The black trim package carries inside the cabin, with a “piano black” center console and vent trim pieces, and a black headliner, VW said in a statement on Friday.

It will be available in four exterior colors — Pure White, Reflex Silver, Platinum Grey and Deep Black, Volkswagen said. Other features, including a standard 280-hp 3.6-liter V-6 engine and 6.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, are available in other top-end versions of the Passat, which is built in Chattanooga.

The 2018 Passat GT is expected in U.S. dealerships in the second quarter, priced at $29,940 (including shipping).

Passat sales dropped 17 percent in 2017 to 60,722 — including a 58 percent fall in December — as automakers, including Volkswagen, continue to struggle to sell midsize sedans to consumers more interested in SUVs and crossovers. On Jan. 1, Volkswagen had the largest days supply of unsold inventory of any brand in the U.S. — 146 days.

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