40 years ago Volkswagen debuted debuted the Passat. Now in its seventh generation (Porsche and Corvette are also surprisingly in seventh generation, the first is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and Corvette its 60th).
The first generation Passat was a hatchback drawn by Giorgio Giugiaro, which was soon followed by a station wagon version called Variant.
The first Passat was based on the Audi 80 and remained in production until 1980. 2.5 million units were produced.
The second generation model was produced until 1987 and was a true international hit with nearly 5.5 million units sold throughout the world. It was produced not only in Emden, but also in Belgium, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and Japan. Second generation model brought four-wheel drive, turbo diesel, five-cylinder petrol engine and the fuel-reducing formula E to the Passat range.
The third generation model was produced from 1987-1993 and fourth generation from 1993 to 1997.
The fifth generation (1996 to 2005) introduced fully galvanized body, advanced TDI technology, powerful four-, five-, six-and eight-cylinder engines. A total of over four million units of the fifth generation were sold.
Between 2006-2009 a new body variant CC was offered with about 1.7 million units produced. The CC is now a separate model and still in production.
The Passat B7 introduced another new body variant called Alltrack, a similar model to Audi’s Allroad with higher body clearance and all-wheel drive.