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Volkswagen Passat 2020: More muscular, US-bound sedan teased ahead of Detroit debut

The LA motor show might have just finished, but the teaser schedule for the Detroit Motor Show is already in full swing, with VW the latest to join the party with the first sketches of its 2020 Passat sedan.

The car will be revealed in full during the Detroit show (the press days kick off January 14), but the brand is offering a preview of what to expect via a handful of sporty-looking sketches. And if the pictures are to believed, the Passat is getting a muscular makeover, with bulging shoulders, arch-filling alloys and a cat-clawed bonnet.

Elsewhere, though, this new Passat looks more rounded than it has in the past, taking on a vaguely Audi TT-shaped side profile, with plenty of side skirting and body creases that lend it a genuinely athletic street presence. Up front, an Arteon-aping upright grille that bleeds into thin headlights with the DRLs running beneath them looks plenty premium, too.

But before you get too excited, VW Group in Australia has made it clear that this morning's sketches, released through US-based media outlets, is "unique to that market". The Wolfsburg-built, Australian-bound Passat sedan, which is also due for its MY20 update, and which VW here promises it will be revealing soon, will instead get a lighter makeover and new engine variants as part of its mid-life update.

In the meantime, then, watch this space.

Do you prefer the look of the USA-spec or Australian Passat? Tell us in the comments below.