Thursday, March 24, 2011
Car Of The Day: March 24, 2011
Today's car of the day is Siku's 1988 Volkswagen Passat Variant GT.
The Volkswagen Passat is a large family car built by Volkswagen Passenger Cars through six design generations since 1973. Slotting between the Volkswagen Golf / Volkswagen Jetta, and the Volkswagen Phaeton in the current Volkswagen line-up, the Passat and its derivatives have been badged variously as Dasher, Santana, Quantum, Magotan, Corsar and Carat.
In 2008, Volkswagen extended its range with the launch of the Passat CC, a "4-door coupé" version of the Passat.
On January 9, 2011, Volkswagen announced that the New Midsize Sedan being built in Chattanooga, Tennessee for the North American market would be named the Passat.
For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Volkswagen Passat
This car represents what I have always loved about Siku. Yeah, I still hate that it's 1/55 instead of 1/64, but the casting is good. More importantly, this is the type of car Siku did best- plain Jane family cars. Wagons were extremely popular in the Siku range. At some point in the last few years though Siku has lost their way. Generics added to the range. More super cars, less regular cars. I suppose they are trying to out-Hot Wheels Hot Wheels, but it's not going to work. It didn't work for Topper, Matchbox (Superfast), Corgi (Whizzwheels), or anyone else. Hot Wheels does what it does very well. Siku is no longer the quintessential German diecast manufacturer. That honor goes to the not even available at retail Grell models now.
The third generation Passat was introduced in March 1988 in Europe, 1990 in North America, and 1995 in South America. Its curvy looks were a contrast from the boxy appearance of its predecessor and owed much to the "jelly mould" style pioneered by Ford with the Sierra. The lack of a grille made the car's front end styling reminiscent of older, rear-engined Volkswagens such as the 411, and also doubled as a modern styling trend.
At the time it was the first Passat to be built on a Volkswagen-designed platform, rather than sharing one with an Audi saloon. The car, although designated B3 in Volkswagen's platform nomenclature, was based largely on the A platform as used for the smaller Golf model, but was stretched in all directions. Many components are shared directly between these vehicles. Only 4-door saloon and 5-door estate versions were available, without the fastback option of previous models. It was marketed under the Passat name in all markets; in North America, this was a first.
The fuel injected petrol engines gave better performance and refinement than the carburettor units previously used. They were mounted transversely, and the floorpan was engineered to accept Volkswagen's 'Syncro' four-wheel drive system. Engine options were the 2.0 litre 16 valve engine in the GL model, 1.8 litre engine in the CL model (not available in North America, all CLs, GLs, and GLSs had the 2.0 16v), Volkswagen's new 2.8 litre VR6 engine (also used in the Golf and Corrado) in the GLX/GLS model (introduced in 1991 in Europe and 1992 in North America), and the G60 engine (only available on the Syncro model in Canada for the North American market). The VR6 engine gave the top-of-the-range Passat a top speed of 224 kilometres per hour (139 mph). The 1.9 litre diesel engine was also available as an option.