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Volkswagen unveils 141mpg plug-in hybrid Passat

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Next year's hybrid Passat could be the perfect motorway cruiser

Volkswagen has recently revealed its upcoming Passat GTE model, which harnesses the power of a petrol engine and an electric motor for heavily reduced emissions and impressive fuel economy figures.

Following on from the similarly frugal Golf GTE, the Passat uses a 1.4-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine that develops 154bhp. This is then mated to an electric motor, which is housed within the six-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, and adds an extra 113bhp to proceedings.

The result is completely emissions-free motoring for up to 31 miles at speeds of 81mph or an impressive range of 622 miles when the hybrid system works in harmony - as long as the 50-litre fuel tank is brimmed and the batteries fully charged.

Customers can also plug the GTE into a standard wall socket and top up the batteries in around four hours, although Volkswagen will also offer an optional high-speed wall box that cuts charging times down to two hours and 30 minutes.

Based on the new, eighth generation Passat, the GTE version also benefits from an upgraded cabin that boasts digital instrument clusters, improved interior fabrics and sharper exterior styling.

In addition to the new Passat's enhanced interior gadgets, GTE customers also get a 6.5-inch colour screen that acts as a "range monitor" and "energy flow indicator0", and even talks to the satellite navigation system to calculate the amount of journey that can be carried out on electricity alone.

Prices for the upcoming VW Passat GTE are yet to be confirmed as it isn't due to hit forecourts until the second half of 2015, but expect it to sit towards the very top of a model range that starts from £22,215.

Author: Leon Poultney

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