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VW trims Passat line-up in preparation for new model

by Ronan Glon

The current Passat is down to just two trim levels.

Volkswagen has pared down the Passat line-up to two trim levels for 2019. It's likely the last change the company will make to the current-generation model because its replacement is believed to be right around the corner.

The firm axed the S, SEL, and GT trim levels, according to . This leaves the Wolfsburg Edition and SE R-Line models. Pricing information and an on-sale date haven't been released yet.

The (pictured) leaves the Volkswagen portfolio after a single model year; it made its debut earlier this year at the Detroit auto show. The thinner line-up also announces the end of the line for the V6 engine. Moving forward, the Passat will only be offered with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine bolted to a six-speed automatic transmission.

What's next?

The move is hardly surprising. 2019 will likely be the current Passat's last model year on the market because development of its successor is nearly finished. It will again be designed with an emphasis on the American market, meaning it won't share much with the European-spec model, but it will shift to the modular MQB platform. The Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant will continue to build the model.

"The Passat will get a great successor. It will be great-looking, and most likely more Americanized. We are very much looking forward to it," said Hinrich Woebcken, the head of Volkswagen's North American division, in a recent interview with .

We expect to see the next-generation Passat make its debut in the coming months.

Photo by Ronan Glon.

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