The most powerful Volkswagen Passat ever produced has now gone on sale in the UK. Available in both saloon and estate bodystyles, the Passat R36 comes equipped with a naturally aspirated, 3.6-litre V6 engine that develops 296bhp and 258lb ft of torque.
Drive for the high-performance VW is channelled through a six-speed DSG gearbox; the 4motion four-wheel drive system diverts torque to either axle depending on the grip available.
VW is claiming a 0-62mph sprint time of 5.6sec for the Passat, which can continue to a restricted top speed of 155mph.
Styling tweaks, both inside and out, differentiate the R36 from its tame stablemates. It gets 18-inch alloy wheels with Volkswagen ‘R’ blue brake callpers and a lowered ride height (20mm to be exact). Other new styling cues include a new front bumper with three deep airdams and a chrome grille section featuring the R36 badge and bi-xenon headlamps.
At the rear the Passat is fitted with twin tailpipes, a subtle lip spoiler and yet another R36 badge.
Inside, drivers will find sports seats and a sporty steering wheel, which houses the paddle shifters for the DSG ‘box. VW has gone mad with the ‘R’ treatment though; R nomenclature sits on on everything from the recalibrated dials and sill plates to the the aluminium highlights on the dashboard.