Can a station wagon with a sports heritage exist without having some macho name and styling that looks ostentatious and vulgar? Can a sporty stationwagon have some elegance and sophistication as well as power and performance? Yes, it can, as the Volkswagen Passat R36 proves.
The Volkswagen Passat R36 does not just come in wagon form but also has a luxury sedan incarnation. Not that the wagon variant is any less luxurious. Apart from the extra luggage space at the rear of the wagon variant, there is very little to choose between the Volkswagen Passat R36 wagon and the Volkswagen Passat R36 sedan. Whichever one you select, both of them have been engineered to be what the VW team claim to be the fastest Passat ever.
Well, there is one small point of difference between the wagon and the sedan variants. While all models of Volkswagen Passat R36 share the powerful 3.6 litre V6 FSI direct injection petrol engine and the six-speed direct shift gearing system, the sedan variant is a shade swifter than the wagon, as it can do the 0–100 km/h sprint in 5.6 seconds as opposed to the wagon’s 5.8 seconds. The engine gives out 220 kW of power and 350 Nm of torque, and both have the same fuel consumption (10.7 l/100 km), so it must be that little extra bit of weight at the back that makes that 0.2 seconds of difference, which is less than a heartbeat’s difference.
While the VW Passat R36 has an AWD drivetrain, which certainly makes for better on-road grip and handling, you are unlikely to take this machine off road. This is because the Volkswagen Passat R36, unlike lesser versions of Passat, has the racing-bred sports suspension that makes the elegantly styled R-36 sit low to the ground on its 18” alloy wheels, merely hinting at the power and performance on offer. The overall styling of the Volkswagen Passat R36 is sophisticated and smooth, with only subtle hints of power in the little details, such as the roof spoiler (discreetly placed behind the roof rails) and the matte chrome grille with the R36 badge. This subtle styling is continued on the inside, with the three-spoke leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel proudly sporting the R36 emblem and tasteful aluminium inserts.
With any car this powerful, safety is paramount, and the Volkswagen Passat R36 managed to earn the full five stars in the rigorous Euro-NCAP safety test, as this flagship model should. However, many of the safety features come into play in non-emergency situations. Take the bi-xenon headlights with dynamic or static cornering (as you need). Not only do these aid visibility from the driver’s point of view, but they also look impressive when viewed from outside. Or take the front seats. Yes, these are 12-way adjustable sports seats in the front, with electrically adjustable bolster support and a three-way memory function for the driver, but they also incorporate safety-optimised height adjustable head restraints that are very, very comfortable, and, of course, the force limited and pretensioned front seat belts with a warning system if they are not fastened. In the rear seats –which are upholstered with a combination of San Remo microfibre and Vienna leather – you will also find head restraints and three-point seatbelts, with the outer rear safety belts being pretensioned. The active safety features, such as the anti-slip regulation and the ESP give the Passat R36 excellent on-road manners as well as allowing for extra grip in a sticky – or, rather a “stickless” situation. And the ABS brakes with EBD and Brake Assist are also likely to be appreciated on a daily basis to rein in the terrific power of the VW Passat R36. The rain-sensing windscreen wipers and the auto-dimming function of the rear view mirror are not only handy, but they also add to the safety. The same can be said of the front and rear parking distance sensors.
The only safety features inside the Volkswagen Passat R-36 that will not be seen every day are the front, side and curtain airbags, and the rigid safety shell and the side intrusion beams – although these features do form and intrinsic part of the body styling and combine the safety and toughness inside the tailored lines of the silhouette.
Other interior features that are likely to be appreciated inside the Volkswagen Passat R36 are the sounds and the ambience. Specifically, these come in the form of a dual-zone electronic climate control with a dust and pollen filter, as well as an air quality sensor with an automatic recirculation function that activates when it detects an unacceptable level of fumes, etc. in the cabin air. The sounds are taken care of with the Passat R36’s 250 W amplifier with 10 speakers that allow whatever’s playing – up to 6 CDs or MP3s, or else what’s being fed through the front console auxiliary jack – to be heard with maximum clarity. The driver can easily and safely switch between tracks via the steering-wheel mounted controls, and can see what’s playing thanks to the 6.5” touch-screen display system.
Naturally, other convenience features are taken care of, with the Volkswagen Passat R36’s cabin having multiple storage compartments tucked handily all around, including an umbrella compartment in the driver’s door, four cupholders (two in the front, two in the back) and two front bottle holders, plus power windows, a 12-volt in the luggage compartment, illuminated vanity mirrors for both driver and front passenger, and many more.
In summary, the Volkswagen Passat R36 manages to combine the practicality of a family-sized wagon or sedan with the pure driving pleasure of sports motoring.
The current model series includes the:
For any more information on the Volkswagen Passat R36, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of Volkswagen dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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