Weekly Treasure: 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8

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And it has a six-speed manual.

The end is near for the Volkswagen Passat. Not only is the sedan set to be discontinued in the US, but the current global model that America never got is also on borrowed time. The automaker has come to the conclusion that its midsize family sedan has no place in its all-electric vehicle future. A production version of the ID Vizzion concept is reportedly in development to take on the Tesla Model S. For now, the Passat remains on sale but the US model lacks the charisma of its predecessors, like the B5 generation.

Sold from 1996 until 2005, the B5 Passat shared a platform with the first-generation Audi A4. It also introduced a new design language that highlighted smoother lines and heavily raked windshields. Compared to its US market competitors, the B5 Passat was far more premium and carried a higher price tag.

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Many were more than happy to pay extra for this because, in essence, they were getting a bargain-priced Audi. Soft-touch plastics and other high-quality materials were used throughout the interior and while the regular B5 Passat was definitely not a luxury sedan, it was certainly premium. And then VW had a stroke of genius: offer the new 4.0-liter W8 engine combined with the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system in the refreshed B5.5 model. The result was the very appropriately named, Passat W8.

This engine actually served as a testbed for the automaker's then-new W engine technology. The W12 engine debuted not long afterward in the VW Phaeton and Audi A8. The W16, of course, premiered in the Bugatti Veyron. W8-powered Passats had 270 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque and a total of 4,931 examples were sold in the US between 2002 and 2004.

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But this one currently up for auction on Cars and Bids is an extremely rare find. Not only does it have a six-speed manual instead of the more popular five-speed slushbox, but it's finished in Fresco Green Pearl Effect. It's only one of five manual-equipped Passat W8s imported to the US with this exterior color and the only one with a gray interior.

Other features include 17-inch BBS wheels, firmer shocks, stiffer springs, dual exhaust outlets, wood trim interior, sunroof, and remote keyless entry. There are some expected wear and tear issues, but nothing unrepairable. Total mileage is 158,000. Bidding is scheduled to end on January 4 and the highest bid so far is just $4,100.

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Source Credits: Cars And Bids

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