Monday, August 18, 2008

2006 Volkswagen Passat 2.0 FSI

Volkswagen Passat Mark 5 (PQ46 platform)

The Mk5 Passat was first displayed at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2005 and launched in Europe in the summer of 2005. The new PQ46 Passat features a return to the transversely mounted engine and, unlike its predecessor, no longer shares its platform with the Audi A4. Instead, much of its platform (the PQ46 platform) is now based upon the Golf Mk V.

Styling-wise, the car follows the latest design language first introduced on the Volkswagen Phaeton luxury car, although the consensus from the motoring press is that the Passat is not as pleasing as the previous model due to its proportions, caused by long front and rear overhangs and narrow track, and front detailing.

The bulletproof interior quality of the previous generation appears to have been lost, and although still of a very high standard the Passat no longer matches its in-house rival, the Audi A4. Many believe the reason for this step back in quality, also seen in the Mk V Golf of 2003, is to allow daylight between the marketing and price positioning of Audi and Volkswagen products. The previous generation Volkswagens were generally viewed to be on par with their Audi cousins.

On the four wheel drive version, the transverse-engine platform dictated a switch from the Torsen center differential of the B5 to the Haldex multi-plate clutch. This change also changes the handling closer to a front wheel drive car, with understeer -- and better fuel economy. Unlike the Torsen, the Haldex can only respond after slippage has occurred. It does this with a jolt which may cause the remaining wheels with traction to lose their grip. The Haldex can direct power more unequally than the Torsen, which was limited to 66:34 or 34:66 in the B5 Passat. This may help with extraction from deep sand, although the Passat is far from being an off-road vehicle.

Fuel Stratified Injection is used in nearly every petrol version of the Passat, ranging from 1.6 to 3.2 L, but the multivalve 2.0 L TDI is the most sought out version in Europe. In the US market, it features a 200 hp (147 kW) 2.0 L turbocharged I4 as the base engine, or a 280 hp (206 kW) 3.6 L VR6 engine as the upgrade and six-speed manual (only available on the base 2.0T model) and automatic transmissions.

Volkswagen made a series of commercials in mid-2006 claiming the Passat had the "lowest ego emissions" on the road. The ad campaign attempted to suggest that Passat could give people luxury without being a status symbol or an ego booster.


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