[V8] Passat W8

Roger M. Woodbury rmwoodbury at adelphia.net
Sat Dec 16 16:57:27 EST 2006

Aha!  I just knew it!  Sooner or later someone on the list would read my
mind and start talking about the W8.  

Yessireee!  I too have had the wondering craze that included replacing The
Black Mariah with a Passat W8 wagon.  What's not to like:  Big power, pretty
good packaging, with all the equipment found only in the original Type 44
20Valve Avant, and (in my case) an automatic transmission to keep my wife

So I set about to do as much research as I could do.  Here is what I have
learned so far.

First of all, these cars are in fairly small numbers on eBay, but there are
some that appear at VW dealers with reasonably low miles.  By low miles, I
mean less than fifty thousand, and they invariably do NOT bring more than
$15,000.  So, they are cheap.

They go like stink.  LOTS of power and they run like....well, a scalded
rabbit....Fuel mileage is in the low twenties as near as I can tell, that is
assuming that your right foot isn't buried in it all the time.

Four motion system is really just quattro with a different name, but I don't
know what series quattro system it is....probably the latest one for 2002.

Five speeds are rare.  But they do exist.

Problems?  Well, I dunno.  I am on more than speaking terms with two VW/Audi
dealers here in Maine, and have spoken with the service managers in each
dealership.  The dealership in Portland is probably the best one to talk to,
as neither Thompson in Waterville nor the dealer in Bangor sold many at all.
the dealer in Portland said that they sold a few, and saw no unusual
problems with them under warranty.

I have heard that they can get hot...that is a big engine in a small
compartment, so cooling system maintenance is critical, although I have no
documentary evidence to support this.

I have heard that some people have had valve train problems, but that seems
rare.  Not much else.

Now, the real question is, would I buy one?  I really don't think so.  Right
now they are priced out of my range, as I know that I can buy another Type
44 20 Valve Avant and spend a LOT of money at the wrench's doing rehap for
fifteen grand, and if it were going to be a sedan, then I would opt for
another '93 V8 Quattro, planning on doing extensive mechanical restoration,
rather than buy the newer, and hence, MUCH more expensive car to register
and insure.  

But the W8 is a tasty thought!



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