The top-of-the-range Volkswagen Passat, the W8, is now on sale in the UK, priced from £29,900. The W8 is powered by a 4.0-litre 275bhp engine, producing 273lb-ft of torque at 2,750rpm and giving a 0-62mph time of just 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 155mph.
Positioned at the top of the upper medium class, the Passat W8 (pictured), VW says, creates the link between the rest of the its range and the forthcoming Phaeton.
The car will be available in saloon and estate formats, both with a five speed Tiptronic gearbox. A six-speed manual will be available from March.
All Passat W8s feature 4Motion permanent four-wheel drive and electronic stabilisation programme (ESP), six airbags and bi-xenon headlights, leather upholstery, burr walnut and chrome trim, Climatronic air conditioning, six-disc CD autochanger, rain sensor, automatic dimming mirror and metallic or pearl effect paint.
Distinguishing marks on the exterior of the Passat W8 include double twin chrome exhaust pipes and 17 inch Madras alloy wheels.
VW expects to sell about 300 units in 2002, two-thirds saloons and the rest estates.