Volkswagen Passat consumers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They can choose either the power advantages of the car’s optional 280-hp 3.6-liter VR6 V-6 engine or the in-your-face looks that come with the four-cylinder-only R-Line trim. Unfortunately, they can’t have both. With the reveal of the aggressive-looking V-6–powered Volkswagen Passat GT concept at the 2016 Los Angeles auto show, though, it seems Volkswagen is preparing to give its customers the opportunity to have their power and show it, too.
With looks inspired by the Golf GTI and the Jetta GLI, the Passat GT is motivated by Volkswagen’s powerful V-6 engine connected to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Although power is unchanged, don’t doubt the engine’s ability to move the Passat with authority. We clocked a Passat V-6 from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds earlier this year. The Passat GT makes that ability more evident with exterior details that include a honeycomb grille with red accent lines—the top of which merge with the GT’s LED headlights—as well as a mean-looking front clip with gaping (likely faux) intakes.
Contrasting with its white-painted body, the Passat GT’s black roof, mirror caps, trunk spoiler, and window surrounds complement tinted taillights, 10-spoke 19-inch wheels, red brake calipers, and two trapezoidal exhaust tips, resulting in a family sedan that looks properly menacing. Inside, carbon-fiber trim on the doors, two-tone seats, a black headliner, and piano-black center-console trim help set the concept’s interior apart from the more mundane offerings found in the Passat SE V-6 and SEL V-6 models. While the Passat GT is largely a styling package, Volkswagen did reduce the concept sedan’s ride height by 0.6 inch and bolted on a sports exhaust system.
Although there’s no guarantee the Passat GT will ever see the light of day, Volkswagen acknowledges that the model previews a “potential addition to the Passat lineup.” Frankly, we’d bet on a GT-like Passat showing up in Volkswagen showrooms late next year to give consumers another alternative to the Ford Fusion Sport and the upcoming 2018 Toyota Camry TRD.