Wait, hear me out. I know, it sounds crazy. This is Tanner Foust’s V8 Formula Drift Passat and the internet is going ga-ga over it. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a V8 guy through and through so I like the premise. It’s after I gave it some thought that I decided I didn’t like it. See, that doesn’t happen on the internet all that often. Actual thought given to something before hating it!
I’ll also point out up front that I like Tanner Foust, even met him once in LA while attending the filming of the now defunct Top Gear USA on NBC. Plus, as I’ve stated before, I’m not a huge NASCAR fan so this isn’t an anti-VW thing, as I’ll explain in a moment.
No, what I don’t like about this “Passat” is now un-Passat-like it is. Sure, between September 2001 to September 2004 Volkswagen had “W8” engines installed longitudinally in the Volkswagen Passat (B5.5 generation). It was basically two of the venerable VR4 engines joined at the crank. So they have some history of putting a big engine in the Passat. They even had a manual version. And a wagon!
But what have you done for me lately VW? As I stated, I’m an 8 cylinder guy, not much else sounds better. So I want 8-cylinder midsize sedans and there just aren’t many. Dodge will sell you a V8 sedan, a Charger, as will Chevrolet with the SS (although they literally don’t like to advertise it) but there aren’t many other options, unless you want to go to Mercedes or BMW who will gladly sell you V8-equipped sedans for a price. So this Passat is just a reminder of what we could have, not what we have in real life. It’s closer in spirit to a NASCAR than a VW, and has some sort of big 7.4L American V8 helping it drive sideways (a GM LS if I had to guess).
Take a look at the pics and judge for yourself. That speedo and tach look they came from a Passat, as do some of the lights. The rest, well I doubt that’s in the VW accessories catalog. So you can’t source these parts for your Passat. But you could imagine what it would be like. Drifting around the traffic circle, groceries sliding about. As I said, pretty great concept, but that’s where it ends sadly.
Photos: Rockstar Energy