2001 July: Volkswagen unveiled a 4-litre W8 engine (202kW at 6000rpm, 370Nm at 2750rpm) in the VW Passat with `4motion' four wheel drive. The `W' refers to two narrow angle `V's themselves joined at 72°, hence `W', giving a compact engine of about 42×70×70cm. The engine has 4-valves per cylinder, variable inlet and outlet valve timing and, surprisingly for an 8, twin balance shafts.
With 202kW, at least rear wheel drive, or better four wheel drive is prudent in a "family car", even an upmarket one. VW's biggest risk from a marketing point of view must be in making its Audi brand redundant if the "peoples cars" become too luxurious.
Equipment includes front and rear curtain airbags, 17-inch alloy wheels with 225/45R17 tyres, climate control air-conditioning and special trim.
Loa 4703mm, width 1746mm, height 1461mm (1497 station wagon),
engine 3999cc petrol W8, 4-valves/cyl, 202kW at 6000rpm, 370Nm at 2750rpm,
6-speed manual gearbox (or 5-speed auto'), 4-motion 4WD.
2001 May: New GP model Volkswagen Passat (right) on sale in .au. The top model is 2.8 litre V6 (140kW) with 5-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, available as a front wheel drive or with 4Motion (4x4). The cheaper alternative is the 1.8-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder (110kW) with a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed Tiptronic gearbox.
It is hard to pick major differences, other than cosmetic changes, between this and the previous model, but there are said to be 2300 new parts in the GP including new body panels (roof and doors excepted). The new body is said to be 10% stiffer. It is 2.8cm longer at 4.70m. The wheelbase remains at 2.70m.
Fuel consumption figures of 9.3L/100km city and 5.8L/100km highway are claimed for the 1.8 manual, 11.0L/100km city and 6.3L/100km highway for the V6 front wheel drive.
1.8 litre Turbo (manual) $45,900,
V6 from $55,600 ($au 5/2001).
2001 March: A 4-litre, 8-cylinder (W8) Volkswagen Passat was shown at the Geneva Motor Show. With 275hp and a top speed of 240km/h, VW's ``4motion'' four-wheel drive system is fitted as standard. 4motion includes a Torsen centre diff' and traction control (sounds like Audi's Quattro system, funny that). The main variations are sedan or station wagon, 6-speed manual or 5-speed tiptronic gearbox. The car will be on sale in Europe this year.
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