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Brisbane show: VW Passat goes R-rated

Passat power: R36 will be Volkswagen's quickest model.

Volkswagen hits Brisbane show with wild $65,000 Passat R36 and Anniversary Beetle

6 Feb 2008

VOLKSWAGEN staged not one but two Australian public debuts at the Brisbane motor show opening last week when it pulled the covers off the wicked new Passat R36 and the limited-edition New Beetle Anniversary Edition.

Pricing for the most powerful ever Passat sedan, which hits Australian Volkswagen dealerships in August, was announced at $64,990, with the five-door R36 wagon priced $2000 higher and also fitted as standard with VW’s acclaimed six-speed DSG automated manual transmission.

The R36 is powered by a 220kW 3.6-litre direct-injection petrol V6, which drives all four wheels through VW’s 4Motion drivetrain. The top speed of the sedan is electronically limited to 250km/h, while 0-100km/h is the quickest of any Volkswagen model at 5.6 seconds (5.8 seconds for the wagon).

Created by Volkswagen Individual – which also produced the Golf R32 and Touareg R50, the first 50 examples of which are now on the water ahead of a March showroom arrival – the R36 is the third R-series model to emerge from Europe’s largest car-maker.

Visually, unique R36 features include a specific “R” front bumper and matt chrome-finished grille, side sills, a bootlid spoiler for the sedan (or a roof spoiler for the wagon), dual chromed exhaust outlets, 18-inch “Omanyt” alloy wheels with 235/40-section tyres, bi-Xenon headlights, darkened tail-light clusters, colour-coded wheel-arch extensions and front/rear “R36” badging.

Inside, the R36 scores a dark brushed aluminium decor finish on the instruments panel and centre console, an R-design leather-clad steering wheel with gearshift paddles, sports front seats with 12-way adjustment and electro-pneumatic side bolsters, “R36”-badged door sill trims, white instrument lighting, an alloy-look automatic transmission selector, an eight-channel/10-speaker 250W sound system, R-badged aluminium pedals and San Remo micro-fibre/Vienna leather combination upholstery.

Meanwhile, after eight years on sale Volkswagen has seen fit to issue a limited-edition version of its New Beetle hatchback, in the shape of the New Beetle Anniversary Edition (NBAE).

Based on the New Beetle Miami, the NBAE is visually differentiated by an exclusive “Campanella” white body colour treatment with black roof and wing mirror scalps, plus 17-inch “Versus” alloy wheels and front fog lights. The special Beetle’s interior is dominated by unique black and white “leatherette” upholstery and also features front sports seats and cruise control. The NBAE is powered by a 75kW 1.6-litre petrol engine, mated to either five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions that return 7.7L/100km and 8.1L/100km fuel consumption figures respectively.

VW Passat R36 range pricing:
R36 sedan (a) $64,990
R36 wagon (a) $66,990
VW Beetle Anniversary pricing:
1.6 $27,990
1.6 (a) $30,290

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