LA Auto Show: Volkswagen Passat GT Concept image

Alongside the highly anticipated all-new Atlas seven-seat SUV, Volkswagen is also aiming to redirect the attention of the crowd back to the rather old and bland Passat through its GT Concept.

The Passat GT concept will be showcased with new design notes, a lower ride height and other dynamic enhancements. It’s more flashy than fast because under the hood the same 3.6-liter TSI VR6 engine remains, complete with 280 horsepower (208 kilowatts) and linked to a standard six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifters. So the main performance enhancements actually have to do with the dual trapezoidal exhaust tips and sport muffler, which should be responsible for a sportier soundtrack, while the lowered suspension should make the sedan look more aggressive as it sits 0.6 inches closer to the ground.

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According to the company the exterior features at least 20 design enhancements – though some of them are too subtle even for us to observe. We did notice the black honeycomb grille insert with red accent lines – an homage to the GTI. There are also bespoke bumper treatments, black window surrounds, and 19-inch Tornado wheels covering the red brake calipers. The interior is also host to some changes – a new carbon-fiber pattern on the door trim and instrument panel, and two-tone black and grey sport seats with contrast stitching.