The new Passat R36, available in either saloon or estate bodystyles, is equipped with a naturally-aspirated 3.6-litre V6 engine developing 300 PS and 258 lbs ft of torque. Drive is channelled via a six-speed DSG gearbox through a 4MOTION all-wheel drive system capable of diverting torque to either axle depending on the grip available. As a result the saloon is capable of accelerating from rest to 62 mph in 5.6 seconds while the estate takes 5.8 seconds. Both models have limiters in place to restrict the top speed to 155 mph.
A set of 18-inch wheels housing Volkswagen ‘R’ blue brake callipers and a ride height lowered by 20 mm help distinguish the Passat R36 from the conventional vehicle. A new front bumper featuring a trio of deep airdams is joined by the distinctive chrome grille section inset into which is the ‘R36 badge’. A set of Bi-Xenon headlight units complete the changes. At the rear a set of twin tailpipes, routed to either side of the bumper, compliment a subtle lip spoiler. The only badging comprises a simple ‘R36’ logo and the Volkswagen roundel.
The changes continue to the vehicle’s interior. Unique front seats designed to offer greater lateral support are placed behind a sculpted sports steering wheel integrated into which are paddles for the DSG gearbox. A set of recalibrated ‘R’ dials are fitted alongside turned aluminium dashboard highlights, alloy pedals and sill plates bearing the ‘R’ logo.
Prices for new Passat R36 start at £30,990 on-the-road for the saloon and £32,150 for the estate model. Options include a choice of four colours ranging from silver to black, blue and grey. A further option of 19-inch wheels will also be offered at a later date.
As with the Golf R32 and Touareg R50 the Passat R36 was designed, engineered and developed by Volkswagen Individual. Established in 2003 and based in Wolfsburg, Individual is assigned with producing bespoke and highly focused vehicles such as the ‘R’ line-up as well as the BlueMotion range. The Passat R36 represents the fastest accelerating vehicle currently produced by Individual and Volkswagen.