Volkswagen turns the Passat into an Olympic sprinter in Australia

2016 Volkswagen Passat wagon
Ronan Glon/Digital Trends
Volkswagen’s Australian division is expanding the Passat lineup with a powerful range-topping model billed as a spiritual successor to the hot-rodded Passat R36.

The latest Passat off-shoot is dubbed 206TSI, a name that hints at what’s under the hood. The number 206 represents 206 kilowatts, a figure which converts to approximately 280 horsepower, while TSI suggests the Passat uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Volkswagen aficionados will tell right off the bat that the 206TSI is equipped with a slightly de-tuned version of the turbo four found under the hood of the Golf R and the Audi S3, among other models. Performance statistics haven’t been announced yet.

The turbo four shifts through a dual-clutch automatic transmission controlled by shift paddles, according to Australian website CarAdvice, and it spins all four wheels via a performance-tuned version of Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system. The list of standard features includes Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), which offers several driving modes ranging from comfort to race, and a fully digital and configurable instrument cluster that’s similar to Audi’s Virtual Cockpit.

The Volkswagen Passat 206TSI will debut in the coming weeks, and it’s scheduled to go on sale in Australia before the end of the year. The sedan model will carry a base price of A$57,990, a sum that converts to approximately $44,000, while the station wagon will cost A$59,990, or about $46,000. The bad news for enthusiasts is that, as of this writing, Volkswagen has no plans to offer the 206TSI on our shores because our Tennessee-built Passat is completely different from the one sold abroad (pictured).

Read more: Volkswagen’s 310-hp Golf GTI is the new king of the ‘Ring

North American buyers who want a sportier Passat aren’t entirely out of luck, however. Volkswagen of America has recently admitted that an experimental GTI’d Passat exists at its headquarters. Journalists who have seen the car report that it boasts a more muscular-looking appearance that borrows styling cues from the GTI, and real carbon fiber trim on the dashboard. The model is essentially ready for production because it’s built with off-the-shelf components, but executives are still debating whether or not to move forward with the project.

Cars

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Cars

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.
Cars

The redesigned 2020 Passat proves Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm introduced the redesigned 2020 Passat with a new look and more tech at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Cars

See the hotly anticipated 2020 Toyota Supra in motion before its unveiling

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.
Cars

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.
Cars

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.
Cars

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.
Cars

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Cars

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Cars

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
News

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.
Cars

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.