Spotted: Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion
Put the 'dubya' into VW with this mega rare W8-powered Passat sleeper
This car won’t appeal to brand snobs because it’s not a BMW, Audi or Merc. The back catalogues of all of the above contain faster, more glitzy equivalents. Nor will it really attract anyone looking for a truly exciting steer.
For all that quirky W8 ‘like a Veyron engine, minus turbos and half the cylinders’ technology, you see, with only 275hp available most modern diesels would leave it gasping and the nose-heavy four-wheel-drive chassis isn’t going to be the last word in sparkling dynamics. Having said that, the manual is significantly more sprightly than the more common five-speed auto, hitting 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds against the auto’s leisurely 8.1.
It's super rare too. VW only sold 246 W8s in the UK in total and of that number just 20 were manual estates.
It’s a fascinating folly, brimming with the kind of overblown engineering that made no business or market sense at the time and only marginally does now, even at £2,600. But PH salutes the blokes who came up with it, the blokes who sneaked it past the board, the bloke (we’re making assumptions here, but probably safe ones) who bought it new and, continuing the tradition, whoever takes the plunge now. That’s a lot of saluting. But a car that merits it.
VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT W8 4MOTION
Engine: 3,999cc W8
Transmission: 6-speed manual, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 275@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 273@2,750rpm
MPG: 21.2mpg (NEDC combined)
First registered: 2002
Recorded mileage: 84,000
Price new: c. £38,000
Yours for: £2,600
See the original advert here.