It was less than a month ago when our spy photographers first caught the next-generation Volkswagen Passat out testing in the snow. However, VW used the current car’s body to hide the new model, but a fresh batch of spy shots have captured the long-roofed estate wearing its production body.

The next-gen model doesn’t look that different from the test vehicle spotted a few weeks ago, but VW is doing a very typical VW thing here – hiding the changes under stickers. VW stuck them on the front and rear fascias, covering up the headlights and taillights while distorting the front and rear bumpers. It’s a clever trick, but one we know – and can spot – all too well.

Gallery: Next-Gen VW Passat With Production Body Spy Shots

The Passat, which is only available as an estate, looks more bulbous than the model it will replace, an element that’s most noticeable around the rear quarter window, which looks squished. The estate also wears a new hatch spoiler that extends down the sides, only adding to its size. VW no longer offers the Passat saloon, and the Passat nameplate has completely left the American market.

Rumours are circulating that the next-generation VW Passat would grow in size, and spy shots appear to support this claim. We’ll have to wait for official measurements to be sure, but a bigger car could translate into more passenger and cargo room, and that’s always a win, especially as consumers around the world flock to crossovers and SUVs.

VW will likely offer a variety of petrol and diesel engines for the new Passat, with a mild-hybrid powertrain provided as standard. We expect VW to add plug-in hybrid versions down the road alongside introducing the updated Passat Alltrack variant, which should bring a taller ride height and some extra cladding to intimidate the RAV4 stuck next to you in traffic on your morning commute.

The next-gen Passat is in the early stages of development, which means we don’t expect VW to unveil the new model until sometime next year for the 2024 model year. However, VW hasn’t made anything official. We’ve yet to see the Passat’s interior, but it should undergo a thorough reworking that further streamlines the inclusion of the latest in-car technology and screens.