Volkswagen Celebrates 50 Years of the Passat at Techno Classica 2023

Volkswagen is gearing up for a grand return to the prestigious Techno Classica, the world’s largest classic car fair, with a special focus on celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic Passat. The event, taking place from April 12 to 16, 2023, will see Volkswagen Classic paying tribute to the Passat’s enduring legacy under the slogan “Immer wieder neu” (“Always reinventing itself”).

In the year 1973, the automotive landscape witnessed a revolutionary moment when Volkswagen introduced the Passat, a brand-new model family powered by a cutting-edge water-cooled engine. This marked the beginning of a global success story that has continued for half a century and counting. To commemorate this milestone, five carefully selected Passat exhibits will be showcased at the Techno Classica in Essen, Germany.

After a three-year hiatus, Volkswagen is making a triumphant return to Techno Classica, emphasizing its historic models as a brand “with a heart.” The spotlight for this appearance is firmly on the Passat, a versatile everyday hero and a design classic, as it marks its remarkable journey of five decades.

The Passat’s debut in 1973 marked the commencement of a significant Volkswagen product campaign and ushered in a new era of automotive technology. Renowned Italian car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro played a pivotal role in shaping the Passat’s design. Although his original design, known as the EA 272, was shelved due to cost constraints, Giugiaro persevered and crafted a more practical model based on the Audi 80 B1. This redesigned Passat became an instant design icon and set the stage for Giugiaro’s further collaborations with Volkswagen, including the Scirocco I and Golf I, both launched the following year.

The Passat B1, when it first hit the scene in 1973, was available in both two- and four-door hatchback sedan versions. The estate variant joined the lineup in January 1974.

Under the motto “Immer wieder neu” (“Always reinventing itself”), Volkswagen Classic reflects on the Passat’s enduring appeal. Since its inception, the Passat has garnered admiration for its all-encompassing qualities. Across eight generations, the Passat has continuously evolved, presenting bold new design concepts while preserving its core strengths from one generation to the next.

At the Techno Classica 2023 event, visitors can explore five remarkable Passat vehicles representing the historic origins of this beloved model:

1. Passat B1 LS from 1973: This vehicle, dating back to 1973, is the oldest Passat in the world and is part of Volkswagen’s AutoMuseum Foundation collection.

2. Passat B1 L Estate from 1974: The practical and stylish Passat Estate made its debut in January 1974, and this 1974 Passat B1 L Estate, painted in Atlas White, exemplifies its enduring appeal.

3. Passat B2 CL Formula E from 1983: The second-generation Passat B2, launched in October 1980, introduced modern technologies and efficiency. The Passat B2 CL Formula E, part of the Volkswagen Classic collection, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

4. Passat B3 Estate GT G60 Syncro from 1991: The third-generation Passat B3, introduced in 1988, brought dynamics and sportiness to the model range. The Passat B3 Estate GT G60 Syncro from 1991 remains a fan favorite.

5. Passat B2 Electronic from 1983: Representing a vision of the future, this one-of-a-kind Passat B2 Electronic concept car from 1983 featured innovative technologies, including four-wheel drive, a turbocharger, and advanced microelectronics.

Techno Classica 2023 promises to be an extraordinary event for classic car enthusiasts, and Volkswagen Classic’s return adds an extra layer of excitement. For the first time, several brands from the Volkswagen Group will unite under one banner, reflecting the motto “Leidenschaft verbindet” (“passion connects”). Alongside Volkswagen Classic, the event will feature Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Oldtimers, Audi Tradition, Škoda, the Autostadt, the AutoMuseum Foundation, and Volkswagen Classic Parts in Hall 3.

With over 1,250 exhibitors from 30 countries, more than 200 classic car clubs, numerous parts dealers, and approximately 200,000 expected visitors, Techno Classica 2023 promises to be an unforgettable celebration of automotive history. In addition to the impressive exhibits, attendees will have the opportunity to explore around 2,700 historic vehicles available for purchase, making this event a must-visit for all automotive enthusiasts and collectors.

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