• Apr 29, 2008
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.


[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.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      Oliver
      • 6 Years Ago
      Doubt its coming to the states. The V6 4Motion that we have here still sits on dealer lots for months. That being said, VWNA has hundreds of R32 Golfs still unsold, 8 months after introduction.

      But, who knows. We did get the Phaeton. Logic does not prevail with VW.

        • 6 Years Ago
        @Oliver
        Are the EVo's and STi's flying off the lots? The moment the EVO hit dealer lots I was recieving emails of deals for just above invoice. I thought there was a slow down going on which was impacting all sorts of car makers and especially $30,000+ hot hatches et-al.

        Who knows, I've not seen the C30's numbers but maybe Volvo's having zero issues selling thousands at 30k+ and I'm just not aware?
      • 6 Years Ago
      What nonsense. 0-62 mph in 5.6 seconds with 300 hp and all that weight? A 2002 BMW M Roadster does 0-60 mph around 5.1 seconds with 321 hp!
        • 6 Years Ago
        @apu, I've not had any problems hitting 60 in 7 seconds in the GTi and actually less then 6.5 in the R32, is there a history of vw stating overoptimistic figures that I've not seen referred to as common place in any automotive rag or site that you're secretly aware of?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Are you paying attention? I was pointing out that VW is BSing about the performance figures.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Of course you got good times. Any real GTI owner knows how overly optimistic the speedometer on their cars are, more so than any other car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      VW seems to love that number for torque output:

      3.6 liter V6: 258lb ft.
      2.0 liter d.i. turbo 4: 258lb ft.
      2.0 liter turbo diesel: 258lb ft.

      Love the wagon btw.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's probably related to the amount of torque the transmission/awd system can handle, so all their engines are tuned to give whatever the torque spec is.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Haha, oh wow.
      • 6 Years Ago
      do want
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh how I wish we still had the Volvo V70R available to us. Or any Volvo R (not the R-Line) for that matter.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You and me both.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yeah, the R32 is already expensive as is. However, if they could put the 3.6 in for not much more, it may sell better. Doubt it though.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm getting sore from all these foreign-market cars giving the US the shaft.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I love a car with seating for five and a cargo area with performance.
      Plus, it's not an SUV nor is it unpratical.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Stick that engine in a GTI and bring it to the states!!! Come on VW, we don't want another damn crossover or SUV or some crap like that.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @xcountryflyer ...

        you are completely wrong the Passat sales are extremly good... VW never sold more of them as last year and early this year... befor making claims check befor claiming BS..
        • 6 Years Ago
        IMHO the R version of the golf would sell better with a turbo. This 3.6L VR6 is nice, but I bet the car would perform as well with the 2.0L TFSI from the TTS and would give the car more of the appeal that the EVO/STi/135i have.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Would you really buy one over an STI/Evo/BMW 135? Because it'll pretty much be priced that way.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It'd find as many buyers as a Phaeton, which is to say nil. The new Passat is not selling as well as the old one, I think due to a lot of price creep. A Passat R36 would be priced in the 40's and people would just buy a BMW or MB for that price because people are brand conscious here.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Last I checked, 4Motion VWs were only available with an automatic. Unless that's changed, it seems a waste of a good engine. And with the cost of cars like this, and the STI/Evo/135 line-up listed above, the MazdaSpeed 3 is looking better every day.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just a small slight tweak on the chrome grill borders and I'd love VW's front ends better. The grill just doesn't flow with the car and I can't wait for them to update it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The UK finally gets a (slightly retuned) engine that we've already had here for a while... interesting...

      They also get the DSG and restyled interior, though, so that's great for them.
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