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2001 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T - Brilliant!

Justin Brill Finishes His First VW Project Car -This B5 Passat 1.8T.

Sep 1, 2009

2001 VW Passat 1.8T
It's easy to modify a GTI or Jetta. With thousands of parts available at nearly every retail and online shop, anybody with a few extra bucks and some imagination can build a unique Dub. But Justin Brill from Sonoma County, CA wasn't one of these guys. He wanted to build a car off the usual path. So he tried his luck with this '01 Passat.

Eurp_0909_01_z+2001_volkswagen_passat_1_8t+front_left Photo 2/7   |   2001 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T - Brilliant!

The Passat was Volkswagen's answer to soccer moms. It was the family car in the lineup with a longer four-door platform, high safety ratings and an affordable price tag. But for Mr Brill, he had the brilliant plan of experimenting with his black B5, while continuing to daily-drive it and being constrained by a ramen-eating college student's budget.

To our surprise, this B5 Passat was blessed with not only a fun-to-drive five-speed manual, but also the admirable 1.8T engine. The turbocharged four-cylinder shared the same potential as the Golf and Jetta with items such as software upgrades to improve engine mapping and boost, for which Justin chose GIAC. But for most hardware, Justin had to modify it to fit.

Eurp_0909_02_z+2001_volkswagen_passat_1_8t+engine_bay Photo 3/7   |   1.8T has GIAC software, evoms intake and DV, plus FMIC

An evoms cold-air intake and diverter valve were first adapted to the Passat, followed by an MTTuning front-mount intercooler. Not requiring much extra effort, Justin mounted a turbo-back exhaust from Techtonics Tuning, which included the full cat and downpipe. To be different in the Passat world, Justin also decided to modify his exhaust to create four tips, giving the rear attitude.

Speaking of attitude, the exterior isn't your conventional mommy car anymore. To accommodate the new exhaust tips, Justin sourced a rear bumper from Extreme Dimensions, which included dual exhaust cut-outs. The skirts were then color-matched.

Eurp_0909_04_z+2001_volkswagen_passat_1_8t+right_rear Photo 4/7   |   2001 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T - Brilliant!

Up front, you'll notice the open Dietrich RS4-style front bumper. Next, Justin got his hands on a rare carbon hood with a böser extension. He finished the exterior with a badgeless grille, projector headlights and 18x8" Koblenz wheels on Kumho tires.

Justin paid close attention to the chassis by updating it with adjustable KW coilovers, plus new brake rotors and pads from Brembo.

He didn't stop short on the interior either. Following the badass attitude of the exterior, the seats were replaced with Corbeau buckets and a smaller steering wheel from Sparco. A clever touch was fitting the VDO boost gauge in the driver-side air vent, while the trunk was torn apart and fitted with hardwood.

"When I was younger, I vividly remember attending VW/Audi shows, admiring some of the amazing rides and looking up to those who built them. I could only dream of one day joining their ranks," Justin told us. Yet it's safe to say he has done just that. He's built a respectable ride, granted it's not as wild or as powerful as many cars in the scene, but Justin managed it with the handicap of a student budget and the lack of available parts for a Passat. Well done, sir.

Sam Du
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