VOLKSWAGEN has confirmed that a properly powerful and fast Passat model will return to Australia in September after a six year hiatus, to take on the Holden Insignia VXR.
While it won’t be wearing the respected R36 badge, the VW Passat 206TSI 4Motion will offer similar performance to the old atmo V6 grand tourer, thanks to the Golf R power.
Driving all four wheels via a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG dual clutch transmission, the EA888 2.0-litre direct-injection four-cylinder turbo petrol engine delivers 206kW of power between 5600 and 6500rpm, and 350Nm of torque from 1700-5600rpm.
Using the European-spec 206TSI as a guide, that’s enough to catapult the German-built midsized sedan to 100km/h from standstill in 5.5 seconds, on the way to an electronically limited 250km/h top speed. The Variant wagon version also slated for Australia will only 0.2s slower over the same marker.
Just as importantly for some, while the 206TSI’s sprint time is only 0.1s better than the 220kW/350Nm R36 sold in Australia for two years from 2008, its combined average fuel consumption rating of 7.1L/100km compared to the latter’s 10.7L/100km makes the older car some 50 percent thirstier.
Similarly, those with longer memories might recall the oddball Passat W8, which was powered by a 202kW/370Nm 4.0-litre eight-cylinder engine in a ‘W’ configuration. It could only manage 6.8s to 100km/h, while averaging an ice-melting 13.0L/100km. And that cost $97,900 before on-road costs…
Obviously, the 206TSI will be far cheaper than that, but should still cost about more than the identically powered but differently specified Skoda Superb 206TSI 4x4, which starts from $50,990 in sedan guise. Our guess is about $53,000 for the sedan and around $56,000 for the wagon.
The Holden Insignia VXR AWD, which is powered by an Australian-made 239kW/439Nm 2.8-litre V6 turbo, is the only other rival for now, and that is priced from $51,990.
Final pricing and specs will be revealed closer to launch, but as its role as the Passat flagship, the 206TSI should include an R-Line body kit to give it some visual spice, as well as multi-adjustable sports seats, a suite of driver-assist safety systems such as adaptive cruise control, and 19-inch wheels as standard.