Volkswagen Passat Mk.1 | Unique Cars and Parts

25 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Volkswagen Passat Mk.1 | Unique Cars and Parts

Volkswagen Passat

LS Coupe / Dasher

Many felt the Volkswagen Passat LS to be simply a badge-engineered Audi. True, Volkswagen had their own ideas about gear linkage, body styling and suspension rates, but broadly speaking the Passat LS was an Audi 80 with a VW badge on it, and a rather poor indented Wolfsburg castle symbol on the cross-spoke of the steering wheel.

The Passat was one of the most modern European family cars at the time, and was intended as a replacement for the aging Volkswagen Type 3 and Type 4. The Passat was Wheels magazine’s Car of the Year for 1974 and its sister model Audi 80 was nominated car of the year by the European motor press a year earlier. The platform was named B1.

Taken in its own right, there was no doubting the quality of the finish and trim, and perhaps just enough reminders were present to satisy the Beetle owner that had upgraded. The LS was the mid-way model with the 1,471 c.c. 75 b.h.p. engine, an economy 1,296 c.c. version and an 85 b.h.p.

TS 1#189;-litre model being available in some markets, along with a station wagon (estate).

As the Passat was basically an Audi there was water-cooling, front wheel drive and the special Audi steering geometry which was planned to give straight-line running when braking hard on slippery surfaces or should a front tyre blowout or aquaplaning conditions be encountered – the poor man’s Maxaret, although on a different principle.

Certainly the Passat went a long way to closing the gap on the luxury opposition, even if it remained less stable than contemporary models from BMW and Mercedes. It did corner very safely with no real hint of driven front wheels, the understeer of extremely rapid cornering becoming neutral for the average fast driver. Like the Beetle, the steering, geared 3 turns lock-to-lock, was very smooth and pleasant, needing a light touch from those accustomed to beefier control.

The Passat originally used the 4 cylinder OHC 1.3 l (55 PS (54 hp/40 kW)) and 1.5 l (75 PS (74 hp/55 kW)/85 PS (84 hp/63 kW)) petrol engines also used in the Audi 80 – longitudinally mounted with front-wheel drive, in Audi tradition, with either a 4-speed manual transmission or 3-speed automatic. The SOHC 1.5 was enlarged to 1.6 l in August 1975 with unchanged power ratings and slightly higher torque ratings. In July 1978 the Passat Diesel became available, equipped with the VW Golf`s 1.5 l Diesel (50 PS (49 hp/37 kW)), followed in February 1979 by the Passat GLI with a fuel-injected version of the 1.6 l engine.

The servo disc/drum brakes, their hydraulic circuit split diagonally, were very effective, although in practice there was an awkward off-set which placed the pedals too close togther, nor was there anywhere to park the left foot. At highway speeds the Passat was noisy, the engine noise prompting many motoring journalists at the time to describe the car as a Buzz Box.

This was not really fair criticism, because for a family type car it wasn’t excessively loud and, strangely, once you really opened it up (read autobahn speed) and the Passat neared its 98 m.p.h. maximum, it quietened out quite noticeably.

The gear change was vague, with the positions clearly marked in the nacelle before the driver, sometimes baulked badly getting into bottom and second. The seats had a durable knap-surfaced cloth trim but the cushions were surprisingly hard, although strangely they remained fairly comfortable on long runs.

Once you understood the confusing lighting sequences to comply with the German never-sidelamps-only law, the minor controls were excellent and very neat. Two substantial stalks looked after the usual services, with the horn sounded by pressing the steering wheel spoke. Neat little press buttons, with innbuilt lights, look after hazard-warning, rear winndow heater (Sekurit) and side and headlamps, dipping being by flicking the left stalk lever.

The two-speed wipers, properly angled for r.h.d. were operated by the right hand stalk and there was a powerful electric washer.

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