Volkswagen has added two new 2.5-litre V6 TDI diesel engines to its Passat sedan and station wagon line: one developing 120 kW (163 bhp), the other 132 kW (180 bhp).

The new models have a six-speed manual gearbox as standard and comply with EU 4 exhaust emission limits. For German owners, this means a car registered today will be exempt from road tax until February 2005, saving about 640 euros.

The 120 kW version, with front-wheel drive and six-speed ‘box, accelerates from rest to 100 km/h (62mph) in a claimed 9.3 seconds and develops maximum torque of 350 Newton-metres from 1,500rpm. Five-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission is optional.

The 180-bhp version develops 370 Nm of torque, again from 1,500rpm, and the manual sedan accelerates to 100 km/h from rest in a claimed 8.7 seconds; the wagon in 8.9 seconds.

Volkswagen claims fuel consumption by the 120kW version can be as frugal as 6.8 litres per 100 kilometres.

On the German market, the new diesel Passats are offered with four trim levels at list prices starting from 28,890 euros. The 132 kW version is also available with four-wheel drive.