Volkswagen Passat Variant
The VW Passat first rolled off the production line in 1973, and featured two- and four-door sedans, and mirroring those mechanics were three- and five-doors. The exterior design was an eye-catching fastback penned by noted Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. This was remarkable because a rare few of the body types had a trunk separated from the primary cabin.
In 1974 a five-door station wagon was added. Volkswagen designated the Passat as a cheaper alternative to the Audi 80, prompting Audi to give the car a more understated look that could stand out in its own unique way.
What made the Passat stand out from other European family vehicles at the time was its modern design as well as the availability of hexagonal, round or double round headlights, depending on the model. In North America, the car went by the title Dasher, and only came standard with DOT-spec round lights. This Genera came with a three-door hatch as a 1975 release.
The Passat sat upon a platform named B1 and the car's powertrain was made of a longitudinal form of Audi's front-wheel drive and used a four-cylinder OHC that measured out 1.3, 1.5 or 1.6-liters of petrol. These capabilities formed a combination with a MacPherson strut front suspension and a solid axle/coil spring setup in the rear.
The original 1.5 generated 75 PS (55 kW) and upgraded to 1.6 L for 1975 only to have met a tighter emissions control and reduce power output to 70 PS (52 kW). In 1976 though the Bosch fuel injection graced the 1.6 engine and then yielded 78 PS (57 kW).
1978 brought a Passat facelift, giving the vehicle an interior upgrade and a revised exterior that saw the headlamps and indicators moved to different spots. This generation of Passat was popular in Brazil, and exported to Iraq where many are still facing the roads. It was also assembled in Nigeria.
As for fuel options, the 1.5 diesel machine joined the lineup in '79 and averaged 48 PS (35 kW) from its 1130 kg (2500 lb) body. From zero to 100 km/h the diesel engine lagged by 6.2 seconds behind its gasoline counterpart. Finally, all gas offerings were removed from the North American market in 1981 in anticipation for the as-yet released next-gen Passat.
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