Duocorns: 1987 Volkswagen Quantum GL5 Syncro Variant and 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant 6-speed

In yesterday’s Audi project post, I wrote up two more-rare Audis with potential, though both would require some work and dedication to get to daily driver status. Today, I’ve got two more “project” cars – though, if anything, these two are considerably more rare these days than either of the two Audis. Both are all-wheel drive wagons from Volkswagen, but if you can quint and see a family resemblance, that’s about all that links them together. The first is the B2 Audi-derived Quantum Syncro – essentially, an Audi 4000 quattro with Volkswagen hubs, wheels and brakes and a unique rear suspension under the Quantum body. The Passat W8 also shared Audi A4 all-wheel drive components but essentially was a completely different offering, from the 6-speed manual transmission this model sports to the unique W8 motor stuffed into the discreet Passat Variant package. While there were considerably more Quantum Syncros produced than W8 6-speeds, finding one today can be quite hard – many succumbed to poor residual value, rust and neglect; though not complicated cars, the were more expensive to work on than the standard 4-cylinder models. The W8 is at the verge of falling into the same fate, with the exception of original production numbers – with only a handful of W8 Variants imported originally, both of these cars are serious unicorns these days. Which is your style?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Volkswagen Quantum GL5 Syncro Variant on eBay

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2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant with 33,000 Miles

Earlier in the day that I wrote this, I was out and about doing errands with my son in my 2002 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T Variant. I was enjoying a sunny spring day that has finally arrived in New England, sunroof open with my son pointing out everything of interest to him; which is most things, as it turns out. But what struck me as I drove around is how nice and underrated the Passat is; an Audi in a Volkswagen dress, it’s a well built, quiet and comfortable cruiser. When you want to go a bit faster, it acts more like a big GTi than a small Audi. And in back, it can swallow a load of cargo that would leave most sport utility vehicles to shame. Yet the Passat is often overlooked as a choice, heaped into the Check-Engine-Light generation of Volkswagen Audi products to look out for. Well, speaking from now 6 years of Passat ownership, it’s never once left me stranded and for what should be a dull daily driver, it’s a good looking and fun to drive reminder of why we buy German cars. To top off my drive, I ended at my mechanics where I had to drop off some parts for the Coupe GT; one of the patrons walked out and up to the Passat and remarked “It looks like a new car!” While that may be a bit of a stretch on my 12 year old, 115,000 mile example, it’s not on this top of the line Passat today – a W8 4Motion Variant with a scant 33,474 miles covered since new:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 on eBay

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2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant 6-speed

Unicorns. They’re what automotive enthusiasts refer to as the cars that just can’t be found easily; they’re out there, people know they exist, but they just don’t come up for sale very often. Such is the case with today’s 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant 6-speed; a car which very infrequently turns up for sale because of how devoted the owners of similar models are and how few were imported. While we see W8 6-speed sedans on an infrequent but semi-regular basis the wagons are just very hard to come by. How rare are they? W8s are pretty rare to see in any event, with only around 5,000 imported to the U.S.; but in the case of the 6-speed Variant, less that 100 were imported here – a reported 56 in 2003, and 42 in 2004. A decade on, figure a few of those have disappeared in crashes or other untimely deaths and you have yourself a very rare car, indeed:

Year: 2003
Model: Passat W8 4Motion Variant
Engine: 4.0 liter W8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 95,000 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant 6-speed on eBay

YOU ARE BIDDING ON A VERY NICE 2003 VOLKSWAGON PASSAT W8 ALL WHEEL DRIVE WAGON!

DARK BLUE EXTERIOR

TAN LEATHER INTERIOR

V-8

275 HP -275 FT LBS

RARE 6 SPEED!

TRACTION CONTROL ABS BRAKES

SPORTS PACKAGE (FACTORY 17 INCH BBS WHEELS)

FAST FUN SAFE PRACTICAL!

HAUL THE FAMILY AND STILL HAVE GO FAST FUN!

BELOW ARE SOME OF THE NEW PARTS INSTALLED IN THE LAST 18 MONTHS:

Spark plugs

Valve Cover Gaskets and spark plug hole seals

Front and rear temperature sending units and seals

Front vent hose valve cover to valve cover (front of motor)

Double Serpentine belt

Lower radiator hose

External balancer cogged belt and tensioner and all bolts

Water pump (metal impeller)

Front bumper/ motor mount

Thermostat

Clutch

Both Front Axels

O2 sensors

How rare is this car? According to the handy-dandy Passat configuration spreadsheet this car is one of one in this particular configuration sold in the U.S.. Pacific Blue isn’t the most popular color on these W8s, nor was it when new, but as stated in the case of the W8 6-speed Variant, it’s not as if you have a lot of options to pick from at this time. The car sports the original BBS Madras wheels, though from the looks of the wheels it appears they have been refinished. That’s not hugely surprising given how these wheels often suffer from neglect but the rest of the car seems to be in great shape. There is some recent maintenance outlined for the car which is a plus, and miles are lower for a Passat wagon at 95,000.

Paul recently asked me the question, “Would you buy one of these?”. I have to say, despite the negative press I think I would if the price was right, and for me, the price would have to fall below $8,000 – which isn’t likely for this car. The most recent W8 6-speed with similar miles that sold traded hands for around $12,000, though that was in a more popular silver color. With two days to go on the auction, bidding for this car is in the low $6,000 range with reserve still on. I’d expect that reserve is probably set over $8,000 and likely closer to $10,000 or perhaps above. That may sound like a lot for this car but it really is a pretty reasonable alternative to the S4 Avant which usually brings similar or stronger money. It’s a highly specialized market, but then this is a highly specialized car.

-Carter

2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion 6-speed

A few weeks ago during wagon week, I wrote up an unloved pair in the German cars enthusiast world; a 6-speed Passat W8 sedan and automatic W8 Variant. While in general most would prefer the manual, in this case throwing the versatility of the Variant into the mix confused matters. Ultimately, though, it seemed like no one really liked either of these complicated Volkswagens. That’s a shame, because unfortunately companies like Volkswagen and Audi at least in part determine which of their elite models to bring over to the U.S. based upon sales, and in that regard models like the W8 Passat and Phaeton are examples of why the niche cars aren’t brought over here. When they’ve been available to us, we simply haven’t bought them in great number.

Today is another example of the neat W8 platform, this time a darker Silverstone Metallic sedan that also has the desirable 6-speed manual transmission:

Year: 2003
Model: Passat W8 4motion
Engine: 4.0 liter W8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 73,000 mi
Price: $8,500 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion 6-speed on eBay

We are selling a 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4motion with only 73k miles. It comes with the VERY RARE 6-speed manual transmission and full BBS sport package options. It is super clean and runs excellent. Very smooth and powerful car. Please see all the pictures for exact condition. Warranty options are available up to 3 years. We finance and accept credit cards for full/partial payment. We also take trade-ins and can arrange shipping if needed (ask for a quote). Feel free to call us with any questions at 516-543-4600. Thank you

This is a great looking sedan in very good shape; the wheels on the W8 are usually the tell-tale if the car has been well maintained. Those great-looking 2-piece BBS Madras wheels corrode heavily along the polished lip when curbed and not cleaned. The original condition of these wheels would seem to indicate that this car was at least in part well loved. The headlights also show little of the clouding typical in the B5.5 chassis, so either they were well polished (something that doesn’t seem to jibe with the rest of the car’s presentation) or the car was likely garaged, thereby avoiding sun damage.

Silverstone is a pretty, understated color on this performance machine. With lower miles and in good overall condition, as these go this seems to be well presented. However, the car lacks any detailed mechanical history which I would really like when purchasing a car such as this. The last W8 6-speed I wrote up hammered for $5,800 – probably close to the ceiling for the sedan version of this car right now. Considering the slightly lower miles on this car, perhaps $6,500 – $7,000 would be the maximum value for the right person – well short of the $8,500 Buy It Now.

-Carter

Wagon Week: Which W8?

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Volkswagen has a tendency to introduce “misunderstood” cars in the US, and in recent memory two really stand out; the ultra-luxury Phaeton and the crazily-engined Passat W8. Existing only for a brief time, the W8 was the test platform for many of the W-engine variants. Linked to 4Motion permanent all-wheel drive, these cars were only slightly more luxurious than the run of the mill Passat, but did pack a lot more punch on the freeway. The W8 remains a discrete performance package in the truest sense of the word; few outside enthusiasts even understand what that “W” means. Perhaps that’s why Volkswagen sold so few of these pricey mid-range cars; today, though they hold a special place in VW fans’ hearts and minds, W8s in good condition are hard sells that generally don’t bring much higher prices than V6 or 1.8T models. That means you can get a unique performance bargain if you’re a careful shopper not afraid of the equally unique engine. In honor of wagon week, then, we have an either/or – 2003 Passat W8 6-speed manual versus a 2004 Passat W8 Variant. Let’s start with the manual

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Year: 2003
Model: Passat W8
Engine: 4.0 liter W8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage:106,600 mi
Price: No Reserve Auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Volkswagen Passat 6 Speed on eBay

2003 VW PASSAT
4.0L W8 AWD 6 SPEED
Very RARE
Clean inside and out
Runs and drives 100%
No warning lights on
No known issues
Good clutch, brakes and tires

If you are thinking of purchasing this vehicle, no need to wait until the end of the auction.

We advertise our vehicles on many other websites as well as our own.

Most of the auctions could be ended earlier with a reasonable offer. So do not wait till last minute.

Just call (888) 440-0821 TO MAKE A DEAL!!!!!!!

Some of the vehicles are listed at “NO RESERVE”. This means that we got them at a great price and will pass the savings to you as a buyer.

If the vehicle is listed with “RESERVE”, please DO NOT ask what the reserve price is, just place a bid for as much as you are willing to pay for this vehicle.

PLEASE READ TERMS AND CONDITIONS THROUGHOUT THIS LISTING PRIOR TO PLACING YOUR BID.

PLEASE BID ONLY IF YOU INTENT TO BUY

Winning bidders must make an immediate deposit in the amount of $500.00 and respond to us by telephone within 24 hours of auction closure to confirm your purchase or vehicle may and will be re-listed or sold to any other qualified buyer.

KEEP IN MIND THAT ANY OF OUR VEHICLES COULD BE SOLD ON OUR LOT OR OTHER WEB SITES ANYTIME, REGARDLESS OF THE TIME LEFT TO THE END OF AUCTION

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS

Thank you and good luck!

Empire Motors Auto Sales.

4213-21 Frankford Ave.PhiladelphiaPA19124

(888) 440-0821 Local (215) 831-0123 Fax: (215) 831-0179

While normally I think enthusiasts would flock to the manual over the automatic, today’s face off gives pause, because they’re not really on equal terms. Fans of the W8 tend to also be fans of wagons, and the unicorn is the W8 6-speed Variant. Few were brought to this country, so unless you’re prepared to pay seriously top dollar for one and wait, you’re more likely to find a manual sedan. This sedan seems to be in good condition, retains the original BBS-made “Madras” wheels which are the desirable ones, and is a sedate but attractive color combination fitting the W8’s personality. Downside? Well, as with any used dealer no real maintenance is shown and I can see at least one lug nut missing; a pre-purchase inspection would be a must. Despite this the car is offered at no reserve and bidding at time of writing is quite low, so this could really be a performance bargain. Still want the wagon?

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As someone who drives a 2002 Passat Variant nearly every day, they’re quite a nice package and very useful. As a family car with a touch of sport and all-weather capability, there aren’t many cars in this price range that will match the Passat in overall value. Unfortunately, most of the W8 Variants were coupled to the 5-speed tiptronic, like today’s Black/Black example:

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Year: 2004
Model: Passat W8 4Motion Variant
Engine: 4.0 liter W8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 102,000 mi
Price: $11,000 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volkswagen Passat W8 Variant on eBay

This Passat is in excellent mechanical condition. The body has extremely minor scratches, but no dents. This Passat has the exterior chrome trim package. This vehicle has always been well maintained by the dealer or at a european automotive specialist.

I’m the second owner of the vehicle.

Buyer responsible for vehicle pick up or delivery.

The tiptronic is probably a deal changer for most people, but I think puts these two packages on relatively equal footing. Have a family? The wagon is for you. Enjoy a little sport while flying under the radar? The 6-speed is a really neat package. These W8s have a reputation for being very pricey to fix, but some research with actual owners says that they’re not as bad as they’re reported to be, and certainly no worse than the Audis they square up against in most cases. I think the wagon is probably overpriced a little but appears to be in good shape, and if the sedan comes in below $7,000 I would consider it pretty well bought. If you want to stand out from the crowd and have everyone know it, these aren’t the cars for you; but if you want a neat package that is just that much different than what everyone else has, these cars do it like few others.

-Carter

Double take: Two 2004 Volkswagen Passat W8s

The Volkswagen Passat W8 is revered and reviled for its unique power plant, but I think everyone can agree that it was a neat and unique idea if nothing else. Smooth, powerful enough, comfortable and roomy, these cars are often passed over but make a great alternative to a used Audi Allroad, for example. Volkswagen put some nicer features in the W8 than were found in the normal Passats, but for most buyers it wasn’t enough to set them apart and VW sold many more 1.8T and 2.8s than the 4.0 W8. While future maintenance on higher mileage examples is enough to scare away most owners, today there are two lower-mile cars from the same seller on Ebay. I’ll start with the lower mile Reflex Silver Metallic model, which shows in near-perfect condition:

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Year: 2004
Model: Passat W8 4Motion Variant
Engine: 4.0 liter W-8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 67,509 mi
Price: $11,750 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant on Ebay

Condition: Used: A vehicle is considered used if it has been registered and issued a title. Used vehicles have had at … Read moreabout the condition
VIN: WVWZK63BX4E018631 | See the full History Report

Year: 2004 Vehicle Title: Clear
Make: Volkswagen For Sale By: Dealer
Model: Passat Disability Equipped: No
Trim: W8 Wagon 4-Door Doors: 4
Engine: 4.0L 3998CC 244Cu. In. W8 GAS DOHC Naturally Aspirated Cab Type: Other
Drive Type: AWD Drivetrain: All Wheel Drive
Mileage: 67,509 Body Type: Wagon
Exterior Color: Silver Number of Cylinders: 8
Interior Color: Black Fuel Type: GAS
Transmission: Automatic

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The second W8 on offer from this seller is a Silverstone Grey Metallic edition with grey leather, with more miles and wear showing.

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Year: 2004
Model: Passat W8 4Motion Variant
Engine: 4.0 liter W-8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 98,141 mi
Price: $9,750 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant on Ebay

Condition: Used: A vehicle is considered used if it has been registered and issued a title. Used vehicles have had at … Read moreabout the condition
VIN: WVWZK63B34E118005 | See the full History Report

Year: 2004 Transmission: Automatic
Make: Volkswagen Vehicle Title: Clear
Model: Passat For Sale By: Dealer
Trim: W8 Wagon 4-Door Disability Equipped: No
Engine: 4.0L 3998CC 244Cu. In. W8 GAS DOHC Naturally Aspirated Doors: 4
Drive Type: AWD Drivetrain: All Wheel Drive
Mileage: 98,141 Body Type: Wagon
Sub Model: W8 Number of Cylinders: 8
Exterior Color: Gray Fuel Type: GAS
Interior Color: Gray

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As others have noted with Ebay dealers, it bothers me when dealers ask top dollar for cars but fail to fix pretty simple details. Case in point, the Silverstone car is missing a $11 center cap from one of the wheels. This is something I’d expect from a private owner, but from a dealer asking top dollar it’s a tad bit annoying. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find good condition W8s for sale, but both of these cars appear to be in good shape overall. Many of the cars sporting the BBS made “Madras” wheels have serious lip damage or corrosion, but both cars seem to have clean wheels – and they’re the more desirable of the two stock wheels. I wish you could combine these two cars; I appreciate the condition of the Reflex car (I’ve spent at least 15 hours trying to get my headlights to look like this car) but prefer the lighter leather in the Silverstone car.

Having driven a Passat 1.8T Variant past 200,000 miles myself, I can say that they’re solid cars that are fun to drive and capable machines – so much so, that I bought another when I got the chance. The 4Motion system adds some all-weather stability for those who need it. Granted, the W8 engine and all wheel drive will add to repair costs down the road, but if you’re seriously in the Allroad market, the repair costs on these cars will if anything be lower than the Audi but you would get a machine of very similar capability that few others would own. While not for everyone, these W8s are a bit of a hidden gem. Considering that 2.8 4Motions in good condition trade at or above $8,000 still, the asking price on these cars isn’t too far out of line, although I think both are high – to be expected from a dealer. Offer $10,500 on the Reflex Silver lower mile one, and enjoy a unique, fun and capable family hauler for years to come!

-Carter