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2018 Volkswagen Passat GT set to get 3.6-litre V6 power

By Andy Enright, 09 Aug 2017 News

2018 Volkswagen Passat GT set to get 3.6-litre V6 power

It’s the return of the interesting Passat - but don’t count on it for Oz

As a kid, I used to watch a game show called Bullseye.

As the name suggests, it was a darts-based contrivance, in this instance, hosted by an annoyingly ebullient chap called Jim Bowen. “What do you do for a living,” he’d ask the contestants and his response to whatever they said was always, “Super, smashing great.”

“I’ll never work again, Jim, because a runaway aggregates truck drove over my legs.”

“Super, smashing great.”

But the very best part of Bullseye was the sheer unmitigated schadenfreude at the finale when Jim showed the inept darts players what they could have won. It was usually a Mini Metro or a speedboat and you’d see these poor saps crumpling like deflating footballs as they started imagining how a motorised dinghy might have transformed their life for the better.

I now know how they felt. Volkswagen aren’t about to import the sporty Passat GT. Interesting Passats are a rare commodity, but the old R36 was a sleeper vehicle par excellence and the forthcoming GT, confirmed by a VW USA spokesman and based on the 2016 Passat GT Concept (pictured), would also be a welcome addition to the Volkswagen Australia portfolio.

Rumoured to be getting a 209kW 3.6-litre normally-aspirated V6 lump, sports suspension and a subtle spoiler-and-alloys exterior treatment, think of it as a GTI for people who thought they’d grown out of such things.

With the big-selling Commodore V6 shipping out, the timing appears ripe for Volkswagen to step in and capitalise on those looking to put a big, handsome and capable V6 sedan on their driveway. But we’re not going to be getting it and here’s why.

All of our Passats are German-sourced but US-market Passats are locally built by the good ol’ boys (and girls) in Chattanooga, Tennessee. All of which makes the chances of a right-hand drive version seem pretty improbable. “The US market car is a very different vehicle,” explained VW Australia spokesman Kurt McGuinness, when asked if there was a possibility we’d be lined up for a hotter Passat. “We’ve had no discussions about such a car,” he said. We currently get the 206kW R-Line with a turbo four but it's not going to look or sound as good as this one.

The only hope is that the car is so well received by the US market that Germany decides to follow suit for world markets and sell us an interesting Passat. The sole consolation there is that it would likely be better than the American car, but in the meantime it looks as if the schadenfreude is on us.