The increase of 7 cm in width and 15 cm in length, the new Passat is to see clearly. Up to 1830 liters its maximum load capacity increases. the overhangs primarily have enlarged, less the wheelbase. Similarities with the Audi 80 are no longer visible, especially as this also differs from the design. There is the first time a VR6, all-wheel and a notchback version (Santana, 1981). Although this is not a particular success in Europe but it can inspire the Chinese people since 1983 and drives the production there.
It is a time of the electrical innovations, central relay panel, multi-
function display with dynamic oil pressure control and start-stop system, today (2006) is fashionable again. The Passat models optionally get from 1983 an engine with mechanical fuel injection (K-Jetronic).
The largest and most popular work horse is not mentioned in the technical data listed above, the diesel engine. It is available for this vehicle series yet with 40 kW (54 hp) and 1.6 liter displacement. 1982 there is a supercharged version with 51 kW (70 hp) without and later one with with charge air intercooler and 59 kW (80 hp). Amazingly, however, that even the weakest version is in the program and moves that great car. Despite the high demands on this engine, there is a mileage of up to 1/2 million kilometers and more without serious damage to the engine and fuel injection.
This model series falls within the period of change. So the electronics comes with e.g. ABS and engine management system into the car and more attention is paid on gas and energy. Thus there is from 1981 a five-speed transmission with a particularly gentle designed fifth gear. Catalysts are first installed without and later with lambda control. The 1.3-liter entry engine is replaced by one with 1.6 liter displacement. In general the trend is unmistakable towards larger and more silent engines with tolerable consumption.