Volkswagen is preparing to debut the new, US-spec version of the Passat at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January and has now released three sketches of the latest version of its mid-size sedan.

Of course, we must point out that the model offered in North America (as well as the one revealed for China in October 2018) is different to the European-spec Passat – which itself is expected to be facelifted fairly soon – sold here in South Africa.

Indeed, the model we know runs on the VW Group’s familiar MQB platform, while this upcoming version will remain on the older PQ46 architecture employed by the outgoing generation (and that apparently means it won’t be offered with the Wolfsburg-based brand’s latest technology, including the so-called “active info display” digital instrument cluster).

Furthermore, VW revealed to US media that while its new Passat would gain fresh exterior styling (previewed in the sketches above), more driver assistance technology and an updated cabin, it would not feature any new powertrain options. That means the US-spec model will soldier on with its 2,0-litre four-cylinder engine linked to a six-speed automatic transmission.

In South Africa, the Euro-spec Passat is powered by either a 110 kW/250 N.m 1,4-litre TSI engine, a 130 kW/350 N.m 2,0-litre turbodiesel or a 2,0-litre TSI churning out 162 kW and 350 N.m.