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2018 VW Passat GT to debut in Detroit with 280 hp, Golf GTI-like grille

It combines the Passat V6's powertrain with some GTI-flavored design cues

Remember the VW Passat GT Concept unveiled at the 2016 LA Auto Show? Well, the German automaker has decided to put it into production with no visible modifications. The 2018 Passat GT joins the Passat lineup as a limited-run model — although VW doesn't say how many units it will build.

Based on the R-Line trim, the Passat GT is apparently the result of "extensive feedback from U.S. customers and dealers." It features the same 3.6-liter VR6 engine from the Passat V6 SEL Premium that delivers 280 hp at 6,200 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm with regular fuel.

As with the range-topping Passat, the 2018 Passat GT features a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. That means the Passat GT can dispatch the 0-60 sprint in 5.7 seconds. Too bad 4Motion all-wheel-drive isn't on the menu. EPA estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.

Styling-wise, chances are you'll notice the Passat GT because it features an R-line bumper with a honeycomb grille, GT badge, and a red accent line that remind of the . Furthermore, it comes with standard LED headlights and LED DRLs.

Seen from the side, the GT parades a black roof, black mirror caps, black window and door trim, and two-tone 19-inch "Tornado" alloy wheels seasoned with red brake calipers.

At the back, the black spoiler, black bumper trim, smoked LED taillights, and double exhaust tips continue the sporty theme. To better put the engine's performance on the road, the Passat GT comes fitted as standard with a sport suspension that lowers ride height by 0.6 inches for better stability in corners and a meaner stance.

And if you don't like it in Pure White, VW can also paint it in Reflex Silver, Platinum Grey, and Deep Black.

Inside, customers will be treated with aluminum GT-badged door sills, a piano black center console and vent trim, carbon-fiber optic decor, and a black headliner. The seats are in black leatherette with contrast stitching and Moonrock Gray inserts.

Besides the added performance, the Passat GT offers comprehensive standard equipment including a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 8-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated side mirrors, and the Composition Media infotainment unit with a 6.3-inch touchscreen display.

The interface comes with standard Bluetooth for compatible devices, Voice Control, and Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect technology that offers smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink. There's also a USB port in the center console and another one in the rear seat console.

The 2018 Passat GT will arrive in dealerships in the second quarter of 2018, with prices starting at $29,090 (excluding an $850 destination charge).

Into sleeper sedans? Check out this list that also includes the Passat V6 SEL Premium mentioned earlier.

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