29 April 2008

Killer Pass’

VW's quickest car - the R36 Passat - goes on sale in the UK

VW Passat R36

Fast, big, anonymous estates are cool. Even cooler if, as in the case of the VW Passat R36 here, it happens to be the quickest car in the entire manufacturer line-up.

Yes, the R36 is quicker than a Golf GTI, quicker than the Golf R32, quicker even than the W12 Phaeton. Thanks to VW's 3.6-litre V6 engine, developing 296bhp and 258lb ft of torque, it'll hit 62mph in just 5.8 seconds.

In fact, it'll go 0.2 seconds quicker than that if you opt for the saloon, but really why would you?

Happily, VW is playing up the anonymity of the R36: beyond the deeper front air dam and twin tailpipes, the only giveaways are a dinky lip spoiler and a couple of understated badges. Which you could always remove.

Understated perhaps, but the R36 should be a decent drive. The ride height has been lowered by a couple of centimetres, and VW's six-speed DSG and all-wheel drive come as standard.

All of which sounds good, but we'll withhold judgment until we get a drive.

The Passat R36 is on sale now, with prices starting at just over £30,000. Think of it as an Audi RS4 Avant for the sensible commuter.

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