Volkswagen to launch 280-hp Passat in Australia

The sports sedan is billed as a successor to the Passat R36.

Volkswagen's Australian division has confirmed plans to introduce a range-topping, performance-focused version of the Passat dubbed 206TSI. The sports sedan is billed as a successor to the Passat R36.

As its name implies, the 206TSI will use a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder TSI engine that makes roughly 280 horsepower (206 kilowatts, hence the moniker). Essentially a slightly de-tuned Golf R mill, the turbo four will spin all four wheels via a dual-clutch automatic transmission and Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive system. Performance specifications haven't been announced yet.

The 206TSI will come standard with Volkswagen's Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) technology, which lets the driver select one of a handful of driving modes including Comfort, Race, and Individual. Additionally, the hot-rodded Passat will offer a digital and fully configurable instrument cluster, according to Australian website Motoring.

The Volkswagen Passat 206TSI is scheduled to go on sale Down Under in the coming months. The sedan model will cost A$57,990 (about $44,000) while the station wagon will carry a base price of A$59,990 (roughly $46,000). The 206TSI could be offered in a handful of other markets, including Germany and France, but it won't make the trip to the United States because our Passat is completely different from the MQB-based model offered abroad (pictured).

However, that doesn't mean we won't get a performance-oriented Passat. Volkswagen of America has previously revealed that it has built a prototype of a GTI'd Passat fitted with an aggressive-looking body kit, a sport-tuned suspension, and carbon fiber trim in the cabin. Members of the company's top management are debating whether or not to launch the model.

Photos by Ronan Glon.

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