Click on the image for more high-res shots of the Passat R36

Volkswagen's most powerful Passat ever, the R36, which we've been hearing about for over a year, is finally on sale in the U.K. in both sedan and wagon versions. Featuring a 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system to put the 300 horses and 258 lb. ft. of torque to the ground, VeeDub claims that the sedan can get to 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) in 5.6 seconds. The wagon is a few hundredths slower in the sprint to sixty, but both boast a top speed limited to 155 mph.

Besides the powertrain updates, the R36 gets a unique body kit, Bi-Xenon headlights and a new grille. Chassis enhancements include 18-inch rims, new brake calipers and most importantly, a 20mm lowering of the ride height. A blindingly bright turned-aluminum dash applique matches the new allow pedals and sill plates, while new seats promise a snug fit. The £30,990 base-price is encroaching on Audi territory, though not one featuring 300 horsepower. Now that Volvo's V70R is no longer available, the £32,150 estate model (that's wagon to us yanks) offers lots of performance and utility in a much more refined manner than your typical SUV. No word on a Stateside offering as of yet, but we won't give up the hope.

Related GalleryVolkswagen Passat R36

[Source: Volkswagen]


3.6-LITRE V6, 300 PS: NEW PASSAT R36 MAKES UK DEBUT

The most powerful Passat ever produced is now on sale.

The new Passat R36, available in either saloon or estate bodystyles, is equipped with a naturally-aspirated 3.6-litre V6 engine developing 300 PS and 258 lbs ft of torque. Drive is channelled via a six-speed DSG gearbox through a 4MOTION all-wheel drive system capable of diverting torque to either axle depending on the grip available. As a result the saloon is capable of accelerating from rest to 62 mph in 5.6 seconds while the estate takes 5.8 seconds. Both models have limiters in place to restrict the top speed to 155 mph.

A set of 18-inch wheels housing Volkswagen 'R' blue brake callipers and a ride height lowered by 20 mm help distinguish the Passat R36 from the conventional vehicle. A new front bumper featuring a trio of deep airdams is joined by the distinctive chrome grille section inset into which is the 'R36 badge'. A set of Bi-Xenon headlight units complete the changes. At the rear a set of twin tailpipes, routed to either side of the bumper, compliment a subtle lip spoiler. The only badging comprises a simple 'R36' logo and the Volkswagen roundel.

The changes continue to the vehicle's interior. Unique front seats designed to offer greater lateral support are placed behind a sculpted sports steering wheel integrated into which are paddles for the DSG gearbox. A set of recalibrated 'R' dials are fitted alongside turned aluminium dashboard highlights, alloy pedals and sill plates bearing the 'R' logo.

Prices for new Passat R36 start at £30,990 on-the-road for the saloon and £32,150 for the estate model. Options include a choice of four colours ranging from silver to black, blue and grey. A further option of 19-inch wheels will also be offered at a later date.

As with the Golf R32 and Touareg R50 the Passat R36 was designed, engineered and developed by Volkswagen Individual. Established in 2003 and based in Wolfsburg, Individual is assigned with producing bespoke and highly focused vehicles such as the 'R' line-up as well as the BlueMotion range. The Passat R36 represents the fastest accelerating vehicle currently produced by Individual and Volkswagen.