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Volkswagen Passat R36 (2006): first official pictures

Published: 17 November 2006

VW Passat R36: the lowdown

Volkswagen has pulled the wraps off its 'R' flagship Passat – and the five-door is the fastest estate VW has ever made. Scooped by CAR Online a few weeks back, the R36 puts out 296bhp, which launches the estate fromk standstill to 62 in 5.8sec. Available as a saloon, too, the R cars go on sale in early 2007, with prices starting at an estimated £28,000. Sounds steep? It'll be a great second hand buy, though... For more details, click 'next'.

The engine room

As the badge suggests, the R36 runs a new 3.6-litre V6 engine, with FSI direct injection. Peak power is 300PS, or 296bhp, which is sent to all four wheels. Transmission is via the six-speed DSG gearbox, which has twin clutches to pre-engage the next gear for ultra-rapid shifts. There won't be a manual 'box. Naturally, the saloon is faster than the bluff estate, despatching 0-62mph in 5.6sec. Top speed is restricted to 155mph. Other tweaks include stiffer spring and damper settings, and uprated brake discs to take the aaarrrgggghhh out of the R.

Blinged up bodykit

The R36 is no stealth bomber, with that multi-vent front air dam underscoring the massive chrome grille. The uber-Passat rolls on 18inch alloys, while twin chrome tailpipes and glitzy new rear lamps embellish the rear. The estate also wears a lip spoiler.

The inside story

Those alumnium pedals, splattered with the R logo, leave you in no doubt which Passat you're driving. Other upgrades include sports seats, aluminium flourishes on the dash and a sports steering wheel. Dual-zone climate control, heated seats and six airbags are among the standard features.

By Phil McNamara

Editor-in-chief of CAR magazine