Passivity determines corrosion resistance and stability of highly-alloyed stainless steels, and passivity breakdown is commonly believed to occur at a fixed potential due to formation and dissolution of Cr(VI) species. In this work, the study of a 25Cr-7Ni super duplex stainless steel in 1M NaCl solution revealed that the passivity breakdown is a continuous degradation progress of the passive film over a potential range, associated with enhanced Fe dissolution before rapid Cr dissolution and removal of the oxide. The breakdown involves structural and compositional changes of the passive film and the underlying alloy surface layer, as well as selective metal dissolution depending on the anodic potential. The onset of passivity breakdown occurred at 1000mV/(Ag/AgCl), and Fe dissolved more on the ferrite than the austenite phase. With increasing potential, the passive film became thicker but less dense, while the underlying alloy surface layer became denser indicating Ni and Mo enrichment. Rapid Cr dissolution occurred at >= 1300mV/(Ag/AgCl).