After dropping a few teaser sketches last month, Volkswagen has finally unveiled the new 2020 Passat at the ongoing Detroit Auto Show. The new midsize sedan doesn’t serve as a direct replacement to the European B8 model. Instead, the 2020 model is specific to the North American market, bearing greater resemblance to the China-only Passat NMS.

Unlike the European Passat, which rides on the MQB platform, this 2020 Passat sits atop the existing PQ46 platform that underpinned the previous model. While the bones remain largely the same, the car itself has been completely restyled. It features a “coupe-like” roofline, dramatic “tornado” shoulder line, and dominant grille that all give the Passat a bolder look. In some ways, it’s essentially a more proportionately elegant version of the 2019 Jetta, and slightly sleeker than the Passat NMS.

The slim LED headlights and tail lights, along with the Passat lettering that runs the width of the boot lid, give the car a more premium look. Wheel sizes range from 17 inches to 19 inches, the latter seen here on the R Line variant.

Inside, the cabin starts to look a lot more familiar, much like the outgoing European B8 model. The front air vents sit flush within the centre dash, and the centre rests the MIB II Composition Media infotainment system. Owners can choose to upgrade to Discover Media as well. The Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect is standard for all Passat models, granting Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink functionalities. For audiophiles, top-of-the-line models feature the Fender Premium Audio system.

Elsewhere, the cabin gets new materials and trimmings, while the seats can be had in the standard cloth upholstery, or Volkswagen’s V-Tex leatherette and Nappa leather seating surfaces with four colour options.

Comfort-wise, there’s the optional heated front and rear seats, power driver’s seat with memory, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Convenience features include Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) with range control and cornering lights, auto-dimming rear view mirror, remote start, rain-sensing wipers, keyless access and push-button start, Voice Control, and Easy Open tailgate.

Under the bonnet, the Passat continues to be powered by the company’s ubiquitous 2.0 litre four-cylinder TSI engine, producing 174 hp. Thanks to a new torque converter unit, torque is up by 30 Nm to 280 Nm. Power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. No key performance figures have been revealed just yet.

For safety, every 2020 Passat comes with forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking (AEB, front assist only) with pedestrian monitoring, blind spot monitor, as well as rear traffic alert. Onboard driver-assistance features (depending on variant) include adaptive cruise control, active lane keeping assist, and park assist with park distance control (PDC). As a bonus, there’s also the automatic post-collision braking system.

The 2020 Volkswagen Passat will be available in four variants and a launch-only Limited model. Sales in the US will begin in the second half of this year. What do you think of this Passat, guys?