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Volkswagen Passat (B1)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Volkswagen Passat (B1)
Volkswagen Passat (B1)
Also calledVolkswagen Dasher
  • 1973–1981
  • 1974–1988 (Brazil)
DesignerGiorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign
Body and chassis
ClassMid-size car / Large family car (D)
Body style
LayoutFront engine, front-wheel drive
PlatformVolkswagen Group B1
RelatedAudi 80/Fox
Engine1.3 L I4
1.5 L I4
1.6 L I4
1.5 L I4 diesel engine
Transmission4/5-speed manual[2]
Wheelbase2,470 mm (97.2 in)[2]
Length4,190 mm (165.0 in)[2]
Width1,600 mm (63.0 in)[2]
Height1,360 mm (53.5 in)[2]
SuccessorVolkswagen Passat (B2)

The Volkswagen Passat (B1) is a large family car produced by Volkswagen in West Germany from 1973 to 1981.

B1 in Europe

The original Volkswagen Passat was launched in 1973. The body types offered originally were two- and four-door fastback sedans (that were discontinued in 1981). These were joined in January 1975 by identically profiled three- and five-door hatchback versions.[3] Externally all four shared a modern design, styled by the Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. In essence, the first Passat was a fastback version of the mechanically identical Audi 80 sedan, introduced a year earlier. While the Audi 80 was nominated Car of the Year by the European motor press in 1973, they considered the Passat a facelifted version of the Audi and thus ineligible for the 1974 competition.[4] The Passat became Wheels magazine's Car of the Year for 1974, however. A five-door station wagon/estate was introduced in 1974; the same car was available with Audi badging in many markets.

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 platform serving it and the Audi 80 was named B1. In Europe, the Passat was equipped with either two rectangular, two round 7-inch (180 mm) units, or quadruple round 5.5-inch (140 mm) headlights depending on specification.

The Passat originally used the four-cylinder OHC 1.3 L (55 PS or 40 kW or 54 hp) and 1.5 L (with either 75 or 85 PS, 55 or 63 kW or 74 or 84 hp) petrol engines developed by Audi and also used in the Audi 80 -longitudinally mounted with front-wheel drive, in Audi tradition, with either a four-speed manual transmission or three-speed automatic. It had a MacPherson strut front suspension with a solid axle/coil spring setup at the rear.

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 50 PS (37 kW; 49 hp) 1.5 L Diesel, followed in February 1979 (at the AutoRAI) by the Passat GLI with a fuel-injected version of the 1.6 L engine.[5]

The whole range received a facelift in summer 1977 (model year 1978 - launched during 1978 outside of Europe), featuring an interior upgrade including a new dashboard and subtly revised styling including repositioned indicators and depending on model, either four round or two rectangular headlights.[3][6] The objective, according to the manufacturer, was to differentiate the VW version from the mechanically similar Audi 80. Inside was a restyled dashboard in the style of the Golf, with the radio and heating controls now mounted centrally, one above the other, in a single unit alongside the principal dials.[6] Engine mountings, the gearbox, and the exhaust system were modified in order to reduce interior noise, and comfort was also improved by changes to the springing and shock absorbers.[6] The car's wheels were increased in size, and at the back, there was a stronger anti-roll bar.[6] Right-hand-drive versions retained the original dashboard.

Export markets

North America

Period photo of Volkswagen Dashers alongside 412s at a dealership

In North America, the car was called the Volkswagen Dasher. The three- and five-door hatchback and a station wagon model were launched in North America for and during the 1974 model year. Sole available engine was a carburetted 1.5 L inline-four developing 75 hp (56 kW) (or 70 hp or 52 kW in 1975), supplanted from model year 1976 by a Bosch fuel-injected 1.6 L four with 78 hp (58 kW). North American cars were equipped with single DOT standard headlights.

In 1978 the Dasher received a facelift along the lines of the European Passat, with quad sealed beam headlights and big polyurethane covered bumpers. The trim was also upgraded and the ride softened. 1979 saw the introduction of the 1.5 L diesel engine, which produced 48 PS (35 kW) in the 1130 kg (2500 lb) car. This version was not available as an Audi.[7] 0–100 km/h time for the Diesel was 19.4 seconds, 6.2 seconds slower than the gasoline (petrol) engine. All gasoline engines were dropped for North America in 1981 in preparation for the next generation.[8]


An Australian-assembled Passat LS (1977)

In Australia, the Passat was Wheels magazine's Car of the Year in 1974 and the car was assembled locally (CKD) from 1974 until 1977. It went on sale in February 1974, as a 2-door 1300 and a four-door 1500 (also available as a wagon beginning in May 1974). The smaller engine produces 69 hp (51 kW; 70 PS), while the bigger one offered 86 hp (64 kW; 87 PS). An automatic transmission was available on the larger engine, which was joined by a 98 hp (73 kW; 99 PS) two-door 1500 TS version in May. The Passat immediately outsold the Beetle in the Australian market, although the T2 Transporter still sold more than Volkswagen's entire passenger car lineup.[9] In 1976 Nissan took over Volkswagen's Australian operations and kept assembling the entire lineup, including the Passat. The two-door models were discontinued, with the LS sedan and wagon now equipped with a 1.6-liter engine. Nissan assembly only lasted until March 1977, when the entire range became fully imported.[10]

The fully imported 1977 Passat GLS had a 53 kW (71 hp; 72 PS) 1588 cc engine and was originally only available as a two- or four-door sedan, at a sizable cost increase compared to the previous year. In spite of promises to keep up existing sales volumes, Passat volumes dropped by more than 70 percent.[10] Sales dropped by another 70 percent in 1978, to 356 cars. In February 1979 the 1977 facelift model finally arrived, also heralding the introduction of the five-door hatchback bodywork, accompanied by the wagon. The 1.5 L diesel arrived in December 1979; sales in 1979 continued to freefall and only 90 cars were delivered.[10] Originally available with inline-four petrol engines only the comparably successful 1.5 L diesel remained after late 1980.[11] Sales tripled in 1980 and crept up to 287 in 1981, the last year new Volkswagen passenger cars were imported to Australia.[12] The diesel model was available as a wagon or five-door hatchback (called "sedan").[11] Another 80 examples of the 1981 Passat Diesel were sold from existing stock in 1982.[12]

South Africa

In South Africa the Passat was sold with two- or four-door saloon bodywork, as well as the five-door Variant model. The two-door was only marketed as the upscale "LS Coupé", near the top of the price range.[13] Equipment levels were L, LS, and later the LS de luxe. 1.3 or 1.6 L engines were available. For 1977 the five-door hatchback version arrived, badged "Passat LX."[14] Some other light modifications were also carried out for 1977, slight improvements to the ventilation system, more equipment, and new hubcaps for the LS and LX versions.[13] As in South America, the facelift model received the Audi 1980's front-end treatment. This facelift appeared in August 1978 and also included a variety of noise reduction modifications and suspension improvements, including wider wheels.[15]

B1 in Brazil

Facelifted Brazilian Passat four-door (1979-1983), note the Audi 80 headlights
1986 Volkswagen Passat LSE, originally built for export to Iraq

In Brazil, the Passat B1 was produced from 1974 until 1988, originally with the 1.5-liter gasoline engine. A 1.6 was added with the 1976 introduction of the sportier TS 1.6 version, which received twin headlights.[16] Since the Audi 80 was not marketed in Brazil, its front-end treatment was applied to the Passat in a facelift for 1979. Originally only available as a two or four-door fastback sedan, a three-door hatchback option was added in July 1976.[17] During its long life cycle many improvements from the B2 platform were introduced, like its 1.6 and 1.8-liter engines and a five-speed gearbox. A second, Brazil-specific face-lift in 1983 brought quadruple rectangular headlights.[18] The sporting TS 1.6 was later upgraded with a bigger engine, as the Passat GTS 1.8 Pointer. For export only Volkswagen's 1.6 L diesel four-cylinder engine was also installed.[17]

As a part of an overall export push by Volkswagen do Brasil (VWB), 170,000 "Passat LSE" were also built between 1983 and 1988 specifically for export to Iraq.[19] These cars received various upgrades to suit Iraqi conditions, such as a protection plate for the engine, a stronger radiator, and standard air conditioning, and were bartered for oil which was transferred to Petrobras. As Petrobras' oil reserves grew larger than necessary, VWB found themselves with a large stock of Iraqi-spec cars that they were unable to export. In July 1986 local sales of these leftovers began. Despite being fitted with the old 72 PS 1.6 L MD270 engine and a four-speed transmission rather than the more powerful AP600 and the five-speed unit used in current Brazilian cars, the LSE was an unexpected success in the Brazilian market.[19]

The Passat represented a break with Volkswagen do Brasil's rear-engined, air-cooled traditions. It did well on introduction, being a much more modern car than the rest of the VWB lineup as well as the Ford Corcel, its closest competitor.[18] After the introduction of the B2 Santana in 1984, however, the Passat began to show its age. The Passat continued to be produced until 1988, by which time a total of 676,819 Passats had been built in Brazil.[18]

Technical Data

VW Passat B1 (1973–1980), Type 32, 33 (wagon)
VW Passat: 1.3

(until 02/1978)


(from 02/1978)


(until) 07/1974)




(until) 07/1975)


(from 08/1975)


(from 08/1975)

1.6 GLI

(from 02/1979)

1.5 Diesel

(from 08/1978)

Motor: 4 Cylinder-Inline-Engine (4 stroke)
Displacement: 1297 cm³ 1272 cm³ 1471 cm³ 1588 cm³ 1471 cm³
Bore × Stroke: 75 × 73.4 mm 75 × 72 mm 76.5 × 80 mm 79.5 × 80 mm 76.5 × 80 mm
Compression Ratio: 8.5 8.2 9.7 8.2 9.7 8.2 8.2 9.5 23.5
Max. Power

at rpm:

40 kW

(55 PS) 5500

40 kW

(55 PS) 5800

55 kW

(75 PS) 5800

55 kW

(75 PS) 5800

63 kW

(85 PS) 5800

55 kW

(75 PS) 5600

63 kW

(85 PS) 5600

81 kW

(110 PS) 6100

37 kW

(50 PS) 5000

Max. Torque

at rpm:

94 Nm


92 Nm


116 Nm


114 Nm


123 Nm


119 Nm


124 Nm


137 Nm


80 Nm


Fuel mixture formation: One downdraft carburetor - Solex

85 PS variants: One dual-stage downdraft carburetor - Solex


Fuel Injection (Bosch K-Jetronic)

Diesel: Distributor Pump injection
Valve Control: OHC, timing belt
Cooling: Water Cooling
Gearbox: 4 speed manual,

optional for 75/85 PS engines: 3 speed automatic

Front Suspension: MacPherson Struts, with Lower Control Arms.
Rear Suspension: Torsion crank axle with progressive coil springs, Panhard rod for lateral guidance
Brakes: Front Disc Brakes (Ø 239 mm), Rear Drums (self-adjusting since 1979 model year), Brake Boosted
Steering: Rack and Pinion Steering
Body: Sheet Steel, self-supporting
Track width front/rear: 1340/1350 mm
Wheelbase: 2470 mm
Length: 4190 mm (from 08/77: 4265–4290 mm)
Curb Weight: 880–995 kg
Top Speed: 150 km/h 150 km/h 155–160 km/h 155–160 km/h 163–168 km/h 156–160 km/h 165–173 km/h 185 km/h 141 km/h
Acceleration time from

0–100 km/h:

16–17 s 16–17 s 13.5–16 s 13.5–16 s 12–15 s 13.5–16 s 12–14.5 s 10.5–11.5 s 20.5-21.5 s
Fuel Consumption (L/100km), required fuel 9–10,




10.5–11.5 Super 10.5–11.5 Normal 10.0–11.0 Super 10.5–11.0 Normal 10.5–11.0 Normal 10.5 Super 7.5 Diesel


  1. ^ "Volkswagen Passat (B1 Passat)". GoAuto. Retrieved 2015-03-24.
  2. ^ a b c d e W.S. (27 April 1974). "Test: VW Passat Variant LS". Auto, Motor und Sport (in German) (9/1974): 73–78.
  3. ^ a b Oswald, Werner (2003). Deutsche Autos 1945-1990 (Second ed.). Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. pp. 94–101. ISBN 3-613-02116-1.
  4. ^ Frère, Paul (May 1974). "Mercedes 450SE named European Car of the Year". Road & Track. Vol. 25, no. 9. p. 142.
  5. ^ Casucci, P. (March 1979). "Il Salone di Amsterdam: all'insegna del Sol Levante" [The Amsterdam Show: under the sign of the Rising Sun]. Quattroruote (in Italian). 24 (280). Milan, Italy: Editoriale Domus: 58.
  6. ^ a b c d "Mehr Abrenzung zum Audi 80: VW Passat mit neuer Frontpartie" [More demarcation from the Audi 80: VW Passat with a new front]. Das Stand in Ausgabe 16/1977: Extracts from Auto Motor und Sport Forty Years Earlier (in German) (16/2017). Motor Presse Stuttgart. 2017-07-20.
  7. ^ Road & Track's Road Test Annual & Buyer's Guide 1979, Greenwich, CT: CBS Publications, January–February 1979, p. 126
  8. ^ Flammang, James M. (1994). Standard Catalog of Imported Cars, 1946-1990. Iola, WI: Krause Publications. pp. 824–826. ISBN 0-87341-158-7.
  9. ^ Matthews, Phil. "Australian Volkswagen History: 1970 - 1974". Club Veedub. Archived from the original on 2019-04-01.
  10. ^ a b c Matthews, Phil. "Australian Volkswagen History: 1975 - 1979". Club Veedub. Archived from the original on 2019-04-01.
  11. ^ a b Boyce, David, ed. (1981), What car is that? in Australia & New Zealand, Adelaide, Australia: Rigby, p. 186, ISBN 0727014803
  12. ^ a b Matthews, Phil. "Australian Volkswagen History: 1980 - 1984". Club Veedub. Archived from the original on 2019-04-01.
  13. ^ a b Howard, Tony (December 1976). "New VWs reflect determinedly cheerful mood". SA Motor. Cape Town, South Africa: Scott Publications: 33.
  14. ^ Howard, Tony, ed. (December 1976). "New Passat LX Hatchback!". SA Motor. Cape Town, South Africa: Scott Publications: 1–2.
  15. ^ Wright, Cedric, ed. (August 1978). "New models: VW Passat, Audi 80 improvements". CAR (South Africa). Vol. 22, no. 7. Ramsay, Son & Parker. p. 19.
  16. ^ Braunschweig, Robert; Büschi, Hans-Ulrich, eds. (March 6, 1980). "Automobil Revue '80" (in German and French). 75. Berne, Switzerland: Hallwag: 528. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  17. ^ a b Büschi, Hans-Ulrich, ed. (5 March 1987). Automobil Revue 1987 (in German and French). Vol. 82. Berne, Switzerland: Hallwag. p. 581. ISBN 3-444-00458-3.
  18. ^ a b c Berezovsky, Sérgio (May 2003). "Grandes Brasileiros: Volkswagen Passat" [Great Brazilian Cars: Volkswagen Passat]. Quatro Rodas (in Portuguese). Editora Abril. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
  19. ^ a b Pereira, Fabiano (April 2009). "Grandes Brasileiros: Volkswagen Passat LSE" [Great Brazilian Cars: Volkswagen Passat LSE]. Quatro Rodas (in Portuguese). Editora Abril. Retrieved 2012-04-06.
This page was last edited on 14 January 2024, at 06:58
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