Hot Passat R36 breaks cover
16 November 2006

Here's one for Golf GTi fans who need a little more space – the new Passat R36.

VW UK still isn't releasing any details, but the new 3.6-litre hot Passat is all set to make its world debut at the Essen motor show in Germany on 30 November.

The R36 will be available as both saloon and estate, and is expected to arrive in the UK next summer.

With a V6 motor, standard 4Motion four-wheel-drive and six-speed DSG gearbox the saloon streaks to 62mph in 5.6sec, and the estate in 5.8sec. Top speed for the saloon is electronically limited to 155mph.

The R36's real challenge, however, isn’t to be quick, but to be good to drive. The new Golf GTi and R32 show that VW can engineer some great-driving cars, so we've got high hopes.

As on the R32, there are plenty of visual tweaks to set the R36 apart. It gets special pearlescent blue paint, a matt chrome grille with R36 logo, bi-xenon headlights, 18-inch alloys and twin exhausts. The saloon gets a boot spoiler and the estate a roof spoiler, while the bumpers are unique to the R36 and the wheelarches have been blistered to allow for a slightly wider track.

Inside there are sports seats front and back with R36 logos, a sporty leather steering wheel and aluminium highlights. The dials are illuminated in white rather than the VW's standard blue, and the pedals are covered in aluminium.

Expect the R36 saloon to cost around £28,000 and the estate about £1000 more.

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