Monday, March 29, 2010

VW Passat W8 4Motion: The most needlessly complicated car ever

I spied one of these at the local Bed, Bath & Beyond parking lot.  (Don't I lead an exciting life?)

It's one thing to own a Citroen SM or a 450SEL 6.9 with a complicated suspension.  But to stuff a mid-range Volkswagen with a W8 (two V4s sewn together), 4Motion, a Tiptronic transmission, and hundreds of gremlins-feeding electronic gizmos?  It's sheer insanity.

VW went through all that trouble and this is the result:

  • A car that is 75% more expensive than a base Passat.
  • Extreme front weight bias.
  • A FOUR liter eight cylinder capable of a whopping 270 hp.
  • Less than 500 were sold in America in 2004.
  • It weights almost 3,900 pounds.
  • No power below 2500 rpm, max torque just 250 rpm later.
Nevertheless, there is a still a small and rabid cult that worships this car.  Go figure.

Photo credits: Badge and engine.


Anonymous said...

Go drive one, then you'll understand it. It's the BMW 540, or the E500 you always wanted at a fraction of the price. No cops ever pay it a second mind, and it's a blast to drive in the hills.

But yeah, I do admit it's a bit of an insane proposition. STILL FUN!

I miss my W8, but why are you blogging on a car that hasn't been made in over 5yrs?

Maxichamp said...

@Anon: I know what you mean. Since writing the post about the W8 Passat, I bought a Phaeton. I know exactly what you mean.

Anonymous said...

I have a 2003 Passat W-8, 4-motion with 35,000 orig miles, in mint cond. Garaged. Other than the standard KBB valuations, does anyone have an idea what the collector's value would be? I love it so much - it's a rocket and still turns heads, but it's time to let someone else appreciate this beautiful machine.
Never thought I'd sell it, so I don't know the best sites to advertise. Any suggestions?

Maxichamp said...

@Anon: Try posting it in VWVortex. Good luck!