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Volkswagen is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Passat by taking a look back at the iconic model.

Originally introduced in May of 1973, the Passat was designed by Giorgio Giugiaro and was created to appeal to middle-class families. Following its launch in July, it quickly became one of the best selling cars in Germany and went on to sell 2.5 million units by the time the model went out of production in 1980.

It was followed by a redesigned model which introduced a host of new features including a five-cylinder petrol engine, a turbodiesel engine and four-wheel drive. The second generation model was also an international star as it was produced in Belgium, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and Japan.

In succeeding generations, Volkswagen continued to improve and refine the model. The fifth-generation Passat, in particular, beat the competition with a fully galvanized body, a luxurious interior and an assortment of four-, five-, six-and eight-cylinder engines.

The sixth- and seven-generation built on these accomplishments and helped Volkswagen to sell over 20 million Passats since 1973.

Source: Volkswagen

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