RE: Volkswagen Passat W8: Spotted

RE: Volkswagen Passat W8: Spotted

Sunday 2nd December

Volkswagen Passat W8: Spotted

Rare cars are often more expensive; this one is an exception. But why?



Many (including myself) would argue that the Phaeton is the car that best identifies Ferdinand Piech's desire to push Volkswagen into new markets, after rescuing the company from the brink of disaster in 1993. But, when confronted with the Passat W8, you start to wonder if this, in fact, is the car that took things a step too far.

In terms of badge hierarchy, the W8 is king of all Passats. While most people in the early '00s bought a 1.9-litre diesel for its economy and tree-stump-uprooting torque, the 'halo' of the range was a new 4.0-litre W8 engine. Not a V8, like the wonderful 4.2-litre unit that powered the Audi S4, because that would have been much too sensible an option.


Now, strictly speaking, the W8 unit is more like two narrow-angle V4 engines set at 72 degrees from each other on a common crank, but it's still an interesting motor nonetheless. Powerful? Well, 275hp was quite a lot for a Volkswagen saloon at the time, but not huge considering its 4.0-litres of displacement. 273lb ft of torque isn't particularly impressive in this day and age either, but it was enough to warrant the inclusion of four-wheel drive at the time.

That all-wheel drive is probably why the handling of the Passat is best described as safe, but since we're fast approaching the inevitable Jan/February winter cold snap, that's no bad thing. This car happens to have the five-speed automatic which may be a tad slower than the manual, but it will be nicer to drive as the manual was never much cop to use.


It may not be factory fresh with 131,000 miles on the clock, but this example has been in the company of its present owner for the last 12 years, so you'd expect them to have looked after it. For just £2,595, there aren't many other V8 powered cars out there for similar money, let alone W8. Plus, aside from the badge and quad exhausts, there really isn't anything to differentiate it from a cooking Passat. An excellent Q car if ever there was one.


SPECIFICATION - VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT W8
Engine:
3,999cc, eight-cylinder, n/a
Transmission: 5-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 275@ 6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 273@ 2,750rpm
MPG: 21.9mpg
CO2: 299g/km
First registered: 2002
Recorded mileage: 131,000
Price new: £38,000
Yours for: £2,595

See the full ad

Author
Discussion

carinaman

Original Poster:

12,986 posts

108 months

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
Your link doesn't work. That one may work:

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/...

Isn't it a case of lots of features don't necessarily correlate to meaningful benefits on the road or driving experience? Weren't the Autobox and the ratios of the manual a compromise for better MPG and emissions rather than performance?

Edited by carinaman on Sunday 2nd December 06:56

Ahbefive

11,367 posts

108 months

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
Bargain for the money but an almost guaranteed moneypit. Would be a great cheap car if I was proven wrong and it turns out to be reliable though.

Inspectre

361 posts

155 months

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
Good spot, wasn't the engine part of VW building up to the W12 Bentley as well. Ran a Passat W8 for a while and really liked it to run around in. Nice place to be. I would loose the W8 registration for proper sleeper status...Engine Management light can signify trouble, from what I can remember there is a issue with oilways getting clogged (?) and rebuild required but with the miles on the one in the ad it's probably been fixed along the way.

2smoke

59 posts

47 months

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
That's almost shed money. If it was an estate, manual and 100 miles closer I'd take a punt.

Helicopter123

4,468 posts

92 months

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
Looks good and genuinely interesting engineering.

Cabin looks lush. Did these get different seats and leather from more humble passats?
Advertisement

Rafford1071s

1 posts

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
Hi there guys I spotted one for sale at morris leslie car auctions a wee while ago. And just seen an estate version on donedeal an Irish website. Looked in good condition too.apart from the fake Mercedes-Benz slr alloys. Didn't do it for me personally. But a lovely beast.

ianwayne

1,914 posts

204 months

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
I'd hate to suggest bias, but so many of the cars featured in this and shed of the week are 'South East.' This one may be worth a trip though?

Surprised it's not faster, 0-62 (100 km/h) in 7.8s? A 2001 Mercedes CLK320 Auto I had this summer is faster for half the price

The manual does 0-60 in 6.3s according to guides. More like it!

Baldchap

528 posts

28 months

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
Supposedly it'll do 21.9pmg. 21.9mpg from a 4.0 w8 with a slushbox?

If this manages over 20 I'll eat my hair!

Nik Gnashers

103 posts

92 months

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
It's not exactly a 'q'-car or sleeper is it ?
Almost 8 secs to 60, and almost 2 tons, I'm sure my E91 320d touring would run rings round it.

MDMA .

4,297 posts

37 months

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
2smoke said:
That's almost shed money. If it was an estate, manual and 100 miles closer I'd take a punt.
Not many manuals. Quite rare. A garage near me has brought a few in recently from Japan has one for sale at the moment -

https://www.justgerman.co.uk/cars/volkswagen/passa...


Helicopter123

4,468 posts

92 months

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
Nik Gnashers said:
It's not exactly a 'q'-car or sleeper is it ?
Almost 8 secs to 60, and almost 2 tons, I'm sure my E91 320d touring would run rings round it.
But yours is just another 4-pot diesel (no offence), whereby this is genuinely interesting and worth preserving.

Jag_NE

1,376 posts

36 months

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
Nik Gnashers said:
It's not exactly a 'q'-car or sleeper is it ?
Almost 8 secs to 60, and almost 2 tons, I'm sure my E91 320d touring would run rings round it.
In it’s day it was, agree that by modern standards it isn’t fast but neither are old super cars. Definitely a Q car in the sense that it will be a lot faster than 99% of similar vintage passats. It makes me happy that it exists.

406dogvan

5,295 posts

201 months

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
Around this time, VW were having a laugh

I've worked on a few Phaetons and they are PACKED with unique parts they could have gotten from other cars - but didn't - things like window switches and boot struts (the boot struts on a Phaeton are pieces of art!)

Those parts are, of course, ruinously expensive and in some cases, not that easy to source but hey, that's what you get from this period of VW

I imagine this isn't quite as bad - it's a Passat with a one-off engine which will be a maintenance nightmare of course but it's a W8 - who else has one of those

Estate would be nicer but I seem to recall there aren't many and even fewer in manual form?

jonnM

1,094 posts

75 months

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
Helicopter123 said:
Nik Gnashers said:
It's not exactly a 'q'-car or sleeper is it ?
Almost 8 secs to 60, and almost 2 tons, I'm sure my E91 320d touring would run rings round it.
But yours is just another 4-pot diesel (no offence), whereby this is genuinely interesting and worth preserving.
+1

myhandle

816 posts

110 months

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
One of my friends has one of these with 70,000 miles and only two previous owners, in this exact colour combination. It has been far from a money pit, but it’s better if you have a friendly mechanic as he does. His car is utterly pristine and after he dropped me off at the pub last night it made the most brilliant noise going off down the road, a very refined 8 cylinder sound, more Bentley than US V8 or AMG V8.

dunnoreally

218 posts

44 months

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
Jag_NE said:
In it’s day it was, agree that by modern standards it isn’t fast but neither are old super cars. Definitely a Q car in the sense that it will be a lot faster than 99% of similar vintage passats. It makes me happy that it exists.
I don't know, even when you compare it with contemporary stuff, that's still more E46 323 performance rather than 330. So, reasonably brisk, but there were plenty of ways to go a lot faster fairly cheaply even back then. This was the Impreza's heyday, remember.

Saying that, I 100% agree that it's a properly charismatic old curiosity and more than worth the asking price. I'd be very happy with one. Not every car needs to set the world on fire.

just passing by

11 posts

13 months

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
this week's Shed is half the price, prettier and faster. I guess that rarity has its price. I get the point that it's "good" in some theoretical sense that cars like this W8 exist. But back in the real world you'd need an unnatural love of hard-to-maintain versions of ordinary repmobiles to be tempted to put cold hard cash down for this.

Quavers

80 posts

13 months

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
Rust. Leaks. Door locks that commit suicide. At least pd passats are economical. No thanks.

MJK 24

5,254 posts

172 months

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
I’ve seen perhaps 5 of these in the U.K. over the years. By contrast, I saw at least 10 in NZ in just under 3 months. A relatively common car there. The vast majority being Japanese imports.

rtz62

1,553 posts

91 months

Sunday 2nd December
quotequote all
Once had a bit of a spirited drive against one of these, my car having similar output bhp-wise
I had absolutely no trouble leaving it in my wake at will. They sound, and perform, like an asthmatic engine of half its capacity
And I may be wrong but weren’t many of these blighted by the chocolate auto gearbox issues that seemed to be a regular issue with VAG products of that era?
But as with the Phaeton, as someone else mentioned, too frightening a prospect to own due to the cost of bespoke parts if, or when, it goes wrong...