(first posted 10/4/2015) As I’ve written in the past, the first generation of automakers that landed in Brazil used to produce really crappy cars. Well, all of them but one: VW.
The VW Beetle and the Micro Bus were the right car at the right time, just what we needed: they were affordable, tough as nails, fuel efficient, and even a monkey with couple days of training could fix them.
In the late 50s, paved roads were a luxury around South America and the “Off Road” capability of the little Beetle was very much appreciated.
So, the Brazilian VW established itself in a very comfortable position… at the top, thanks to the air cooled Beetle platform and all its variations.
By the early 70s VW realized they couldn’t rely on this project forever, and in 1973 introduced the Passat, the first FWD, water-cooled car from the German brand. But the Passat was a car aimed to the middle class buyers, it was never meant to be an entry level car; this position still belonged to the aging Beetle. VW wanted to replace its air-cooled fleet starting from the top.
VW was in a pickle, they had to replace the most beloved car of its portfolio for a modern project but how to do that without hurting the feelings of the (still) millions of loyal costumers of the Beetle? The teams of marketing and engineering came together and the solution they found was a very, very singular one.
The idea was to produce a compact car with modern style, roomy interior, front wheel drive and all of that but, this new car has to be equipped with something that the Beetle customers really loved… why not the air cooled boxer engine?
This idea was not entirely new; in 1969 VW had a prototype called EA 276 with this configuration, it was a desperate try to stretch the life spam of the flat four engine but the car never came into production. But in Brazil, the top VW CEOs gave their final approval in 1976 and the project, now called “BX”, was in full throttle.
The “BX” had a huge goal to fulfill, and in order to perform it well, every detail should was carefully considered. The design, although not a true Giugiaro job, was deeply based in VW hatchbacks that were, like the Golf and the Sirocco.
The engine position was, naturally, longitudinal, just like in the Passat. Under that new blower and housing, it was made of familiar parts. Which probably explains the biggest reason for its use and existence: VW do Brasil had a huge investment in building the air-cooled boxer, so it only made sense to re-use it in the Gol.
The new car was named “Gol”, that brings to memory the “Golf” a successful European VW and more important to the Brazilian customers, gol is a Portuguese word that means “goal” in our national sport, Soccer.
In 1980 the new VW debuted in the Brazilian market. The Gol was neatly built and it had some good features like modern style, comfortable interior and really good stability in curves. The new body with FWD was much more space efficient and roomier than the old Beetle.
Its only weakness was, obviously, the engine. In 1980 the oil crisis was at its peak and VW decided to offer the car with the 1.3 liter engine as only one option. With only 42 HP and 9,2 m.kgf, the Gol had very disappointing performance indeed. Of course some engineers at VW started to sing the “I Told You So” song for the stubbornness of the CEOs in not seriously considering the more powerful water cooled option, even with a small displacement of 1.3 L.
The sales numbers of 1980 were not thrilling at all and to save the idea of the air cooled engine, an old recipe was adopted: “There’s no replacement for displacement”… yep, for 1981 we could buy a 1.6 L Gol, equipped with dual carbs. The power was now at 51 HP and 10.5 m kgf of torque.
Here’s how that looked under the hood.
By the end of the same year, the “BX” family got bigger with the debut of the “Voyage”, a 2 door sedan version of the Gol. The new car had the task to replace the Passat in the near future; that’s why it never came with the flat four engine, but instead, a water cooled 1.5L. Americans may recognize it as the VW Fox.
In 1982 came the ute “Saveiro”, equipped with the air-cooled 1.6.
To complete the “BX” family, in 1983 came the station wagon version, called “Parati” (a beach city in Rio de Janeiro), also equipped with the 1.5 L engine from the Passat. This was also sold as the Fox station wagon in the US.
Amazing fact: the Parati immediately appealed as a “cool” car to young buyers, something like the SUV phenomena in North America. The one you see above is a 1996 Parati “second generation”.
The bigger engine gave some new wind to the Gol, and VW was feeling comfortable enough to kill the successful rear-engine Brasilia, which should be the natural successor of the Beetle. By that time, only the Bug and the Bus (Kombi) were still in business using the old platform.
In 1984, the Gol received for the first time a water cooled engine, in a very special version, the Gol GT. The car was a nice surprise in a market that had not many “performance oriented” models and was still against the law to buy a new imported car.
The new Gol was offered in three colors options, black, red and dark gray, it was equipped with cool 14″ alloy wheels, fog lights, Recaro seats and the most important: a 1.8 L water-cooled engine with a performance camshaft (imported from Germany) and double barrel carb. In the alcohol version it could break the 100 HP barrier. The GT could easily beat the crap out of its only nemesis, the 1.6 L Ford Escort XR3.
In 1985 the VW started to offer the water-cooled 1.6 engine for all the Gol versions (but the GT), making the air-cooled an option pretty much just for the corporate fleet cars. The last air-cooled Gol was built in 1986.
In 1986 was the official year of the discontinuation of the venerable VW Beetle. Even if the Kombi was kept in production, it was the end of an era, but the Gol proved to be up to the task to replace the little Bug.
In 1987 the Gol was the best selling car in Brazil, a top position it would keep for the next 26 years in a row, losing the first place in 2014 to the Fiat Palio for no more than 385 units.
The Gol was the first Brazilian car equipped with electronic fuel injection in 1988 and the first flex fuel car in 2003.
In 2008 came the third generation of the Gol, and VW finally abandoned the original platform to adopt the modern Polo base with transverse mounted engine.
I don’t want to tell here the whole story of the car, with all the details of every single model, I just wanted to tell a little about this period of changes and uncertainties the Brazilian VW had to go through when came the time to find a substitute for the Beetle.
The VW Gol is for the newer generations exactly what the Beetle was for my, and older, generations: affordable and reliable, a combination hard to beat.
VW Brasilia: Another Alternative Brazilian VW
CC: VW Fox: This German Fox Has A Brazilian Accent
Ive seen a few later model VW air cooled engine casings, I always thought they were for Beetles or Kombis, noone ever mentioned these Gol were using the flat four, I guess it makes sense Brazil were already tooled up to build it and it would have beenexpensive to have to replace all that equipment, and of course the added bonus VW nutters world wide have been able to keep their cars alive using Brazillian parts.
Did VW do Brasil got so much autonomy compared to VW de Mexico because of a bigger market?
I also notice that even the last beetle of 1986 still had the old (pre-1965 in Germany) body shell, with flat glass windshield and smaller side windows. I wonder if old tooling was sent there and just never updated.
Thanks for a fascinating article.
You are right, our Beetles always had the older body shell with shorter windows.
In fact, being the top automaker in Brazil gave VW a good autonomy, like having some models created by brazilian designers, like the Gol, Brasilia, the very intersting SP I and SP II, Logus, Pointer, TL and some other that I forgot.
VW Brazil got the old Australian Beetle press tools when they closed the Aussie factory about 1969. They’d never done the 1965 window update, so that’s what Brazil carried on with. (albeit with the 1965-72 rear window size)
I think the Gol with it’s similarity to the seventies Audi Fox was a great choice for an entry level model in the US market. I don’t think it would have worked with the air cooled engine, but the size was better than a city car like the Polo. Compared to the Hyundai Excel or the Yugo, it really offered a more substantial package. Despite USA Golfs being sourced from Mexico, they were quite expensive. With Brazil labor rates and the reuse of old tooling, the Gol could have stayed longer in USA. Did the Gol have an automatic option in Brazil, the Fox never had this or power steering in USA? Thanks Rueben for the history lesson.
Choices for Mexican VW buyers today include the Gol: http://www.vw.com.mx/es/models.html
Sometimes we see them in Tucson.
That ad with the interior profile shot gives the rear passengers legroom worthy of a limo, whereas the poor driver is crammed against the wheel. An old advertising trick known well by Detroit.
The Gol family only got a automatic transmission on its third generation, even though it is a automatized standard gear box that has some electronic – mechanical device that changes the gears, but it works well.
I think it weird the VW Fox came to USA with no power steering… my father had a 1993 Gol GT that came with that as an optional equipment.
The reason the VW Fox didn’t have power steering available is because it was sold strictly as a low-end cheap car to compete with Hyundai Excel and Yugo. If you wanted an automatic, PS, etc, you bought a Golf. There were no high-trim Foxes sold in the US.
I might shade that a little differently. The GL offered some of those details, the Scirocco wheels and steering wheel and the more deluxe upholstery of higher line VWs. The very helpful five speed was also offered. I think it more might go back to the fact that an early Fox 73ish was very unlikely to offer it, especially in a bare bones non USA version. I was surprised that Rubens knew it was available in Brazil. Surely not with the air cooled engine.
Power steering wasn’t normally available on anything smaller than a limousine outside the USA. The original Audi 100 – a large car in Europe – had no such option.
It wasn’t until the 1990s I saw power steering on any small hatchback here in Europe.
What is the story behind the 1983-1989 Volkswagen BY project that was apparently intended to sit below the Volkswagen Gol as a sort of entry-level Brazilian equivalent of the Polo?
Found out about it via the following link (in Portuguese).
Here is one of the 3 pictures of the Brazilian Volkswagen BY prototype (from the link).
I remember reading about the BY but the project never took off.
By 1993 the brazilian government came with the idea of creating a new segment of very affordable cars, equipped with 1000 cm3 engine.
To boost the sales of this line of cars, the government cut some of the tax on them.
But instead crating new cars, the automakers decided to make very cheap, 1.0 liter version of the cars that already existed.
I see, so was the BY based on a shortened Gol platform which as some here have suggested was itself adapted from the B1 platform?
Were I shopping for a car in Brazil in the ’70s, I’d have far preferred a Dodge Dart or Charger.
So would just about everyone else in Brazil at the time. But the Dart and Charger were very expensive “premium” cars.
It’s like saying you’d rather have a Bentley now instead of a Passat. Can you afford it?
Okay, perhaps the Brazilian A-bodies were relatively expensive. Nonetheless, this was my response to Rubens saying that only VW didn’t make really crappy cars in Brazil at the time.
Incidentally, the US-market VW Fox was a really crappy car. They were immensely popular in my snotty little hometown when they were new. Often there would be three in the driveway of wherever my friends congregated during my first year of college. All of them suffered from steering wheels that backed off of their columns. Refusals to start were pretty normal. Seat anchors didn’t hold. Shift linkages broke. Exhaust systems had restrictor rings with small orifices to keep power down to protect the Golf and Jetta as if they were malaise Corvettes to the Fox’s Trans Am. They did not last long.
I remember the advertising campaign, built around the price of $5,690. That was for the two door. The four door included features like GL badges, wheel covers, two mirrors, 175/70SR13 tires instead of 155R13 ones, and maybe even body colored bumpers. The price delta was about a grand. Throw in A/C and my local dealer’s insistence on redundant door guards, interior protectants and paint stripes; and an ’87 Fox was $8,800+ tax. Incidentally, the Wikipedia entry on the Fox contains some errors. At least in ’87, a GL was just a 4 door. The 2 door and wagon were the base models. Eventually VW added a Wolfsburg edition 4 door with a 5-speed, a sunroof, and pretty trimmings. It cost more than a base Golf, which made it pretty silly. Some people still bought them for their daughters, because it was a way of being conformist and one-upping at the same time.
I’ve met two people that say they owned Fox’s in the early 2000s. It amazed me, because all the ones that belonged to my friends were gone by the time production ended in 1993. Only a few of them were even worth selling on or trading.
I agree. I had a 1988 VW Fox GL….in 1995. I loved that car but the headroom was limited (I’m 6 ‘0) and yeah, the transmission linkages broke twice. Other than that it was an ok car, but it had a bad reputation in Puerto Rico too where I had it.
I meant to say the first wave of automakers that came to Brazil in the 1950s were really bad. Chrysler came in 1969 and all the “A” body they built are among the very best cars we ever had.
yes because everyone wants a Mopar *eyeroll*
Great article. Always have been interested in the VW models from Brazil. The Fox we got in the US were by far the most inexpensive car VW offered at the time. VW sold a lot of these in the ’87-’93 time frame even without auto trans or power steering being offered. Simple, basic and reasonably durable as well. The air cooled versions of the Gol were interesting. You wouldn’t bore me with more details about these cars. When VW was having problems with air cooled cases cracking and pulling studs in the ’70’s, the replacement’s sold by VOA were the Brazilian made cases and they were of excellent quality and did not have issues.
Yeah those were the engines we could get in Aussie far better than the German originals.
wow, until i read this i forgot that it was a vw fox in the u.s. not an audi fox!
It was both. The Audi Fox was sold from 1973-80, the VW Fox from 1987-92 or so.
And just to clear up any confustion–the Audi Fox and the VW Fox are unrelated except for name, correct? This article pretty clearly shows the VW Fox to be a US-market version of the Voyage, but there are plenty of people who seem to think that the VW Fox was based on the old Audi of the same name.
No. I have every reason to believe that the Brazilian Gol (VW Fox in US) was a direct development of the B1 Audi80 (Audi Fox in US) platform. So unless someone can prove me otherwise, they’re very much related. Which might even be why VW chose to re-use the Fox name in the US.
The B1 ended its run in 1978. The Gol appeared in 1981. Just the right amount of time to ship a lot of the tooling of the B1 to Brazil, and modify/restyle it some for its new role, including adding the wagon version.
For jollies, here is the engine room of an 88 US market VW Fox
And here is the engine room of a 78 US market Dasher.
I don’t recall what the rear suspension of the Brazilian Fox looked like. If it was the same I beam that the Dasher had, that would be another confirmation.
OK; here’s the story: the VW Gol used what is called the “BX” platform. here’s how Wikipedia describes it: 1980-1993. The BX platform, developed Volkswagen’s Brazilian subsidiary (Volkswagen do Brasil), again borrowed heavily from the Audi 80 (Fox/4000) of the day. The BX platform was used for the Brazilian Volkswagen Gol, Voyage (Gacel or Senda – In Argentina, and Fox in the U.S.), Parati (Amazon in U.S.), Saveiro (pickup) and Furgão (van) models. The Gol/Fox was quite unique in that it started life with a four-cylinder Volkswagen air-cooled engine (borrowed from the Volkswagen Beetle), and eventually ended up with a more modern water-cooled engine, being sold in the US for the first time as a 1987 model. The VW BX family was restyled in 1987 and 1991.[1
In looking at the specs for the Audi B1, B2 and Gol, here’s the key similarities: The Gol had a shorter wheelbase than the B1 (2361mm va 2470mm). But the width of both bodies was identical, at 1600 mm. According to the specs I could find, the front and rear track of the Gol were slightly larger than the B1 (Gol: 1349/1371; B1: 1340/1340).
The B2 was bigger in every key dimension. So I’m highly inclined to believe that the Gol was a somewhat modified B1, with some possible changes that might have reflected certain advances from the B2, but not in its fundamental basics.
It appears (and has all along) that the Gol’s body, while a bit shorter than the B1, is otherwise largely the same. It almost certainly shares a number of key hard points. The Gol is a direct development/adaptation of the B1 (gen1 Audi 80/Fox and VW Passat/Dasher).
The Audi Fox and the VW Dasher were the same car aside from bumpers and grills. The VW Fox was similar to the VW Dasher and Audi Fox, but the body panels and dash, etc were different. Engine was similar except 1.8 displacement and the inline FWD configuration was like the Audi Fox/Dasher. I do know the part numbers for suspension and shifter linkage, axles, etc were all different than the Dasher part numbers. I don’t know if, other than the engine any of the major drive train parts were interchangeable.
VW Gol/Fox etc are shorter wheelbase than the Audi 80/Fox/ VW Passat/Dasher they evolved from.
At least today, Brazilian replacement cases are mostly aluminum, where the German original cases were mostly magnesium. Aluminum is stronger, but heavier. As the engine displacement and horsepower increased in the 1960’s from 1200cc to ultimately 1600cc, the German engineers didnt upgrade the cases sufficiently.
It’s too bad they didn’t replace the aging Beetle with a more modern body, while still keeping the rear-engine rear-wheel drive platform.
They did, more or less, with the Brazilia, which was very popular. Did you read the article thoroughly?
More on the Brazilia: https://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside-classics-european/cc-outtake-vw-brasilia-the-mini-411/
They actually tried that with the VW Brasilia, in 1973 and the car was a good seller.
When VW shut down its production in 1982, one of the top VW engineers said in a interview to an auto magazine: “We killed the wrong car” obviously referring to the Beetle.
i love all of these brazillian vw’s. i had no idea that they use an air-cooled beetle engine in the front. i assume that means no air conditioning! it’s funny that you compared it to the ford escort because when i saw the picture at the top of your article, i was immediately reminded of the euro ford fiesta which we got in the u.s. before the north american escort was available. my roommate had one at the time. absolutely great car!
you mentioned flex fuel cars. can you actually switch between gas and alcohol from tank to tank? doesn’t that clog your fuel filters? our cars are flex fuel but that just means they can run on our e80 gas which is 20% alcohol.
Brazil had a long history with alcohol-fueled cars. So yes, their flex-fuel cars could run on either alky or gas.
yes, i know that brazil has a long history of alcohol powered cars. what surprises me is the concept of changing from one to the other. isn’t running on alcohol going to clean all the petroleum based junk out of the fuel line and dump it into the fuel filter? i was under the impression that after you switch a car from gas to alcohol, you need to change the fuel filter after the first tank of alcohol. it’s sort of like using white gas to clean a fuel line.
Our flex engines can run with any percentage mix of gas – alcohol in the tank and won’t clog anything in the fuel system and you can also change from one tipe of fuel to other every time you refuel.
thanks, that’s frickin’ awesome.
many people here consider our e80 to be a political pork barrel project to hand money to the agri-business lobby. i agree that it doesn’t make sense to do it using corn but the ethanol down there comes from sugar. sugar is a much better alcohol source crop.
i’ll probably get hammered for writing this but i think alcohol is a really smart way to go.it’s essentially carbon neutral because you are burning carbon that the plants removed from the atmosphere not carbon that is in the ground from fossil fuels. it also creates jobs and reduces dependence on imported oil.
Thanks for the nice article Rubens. Do you have any insight as to why they didn’t simply use the Golf (and Polo)?
My guess, as he says in the text, is that it came down having a sizable local investment in tooling and machinery to build the air-cooled engine, making popping for both a new engine (since the Golf/Polo engines would either have had to be built locally or expensively imported) too expensive. The home office had spent a huge, risky amount of money on the Golf and Polo, so I imagine in that period, the Brazilian subsidiary saying, “Hey, can we do something less expensive?” would have been sympathetically received.
Also, the Gol appears to me to just be a slightly shortened Audi 80 (B1) platform. The B1 80 ended its run in 1978, so my guess is that the tooling for it was sent to Brazil, with some modifications, to be reincarnated as the Gol in 1981.
I’ve never heard anyone else say this, but to me, the VW Fox (Gol) always looked very much like a B1 Fox/80/Dasher, slightly shortened and with some body mods. So that’s my theory.
I’ve never heard anyone else say this, but to me, the VW Fox (Gol) always looked very much like a B1 Fox/80/Dasher, slightly shortened and with some body mods. So that’s my theory.
A very good theory. There were a 75 Dasher and a 90ish Fox wagon at a show last summer. Looking under the hood of both, the parentage is evident, starting with the funky Audi radiator beside the engine layout.
FWIW the B1 (Dasher/Passat) ran from ’74-’81 in the US. The B2 (Quantum in US) replaced the Dasher in ’82. The B2 (Audi 4000/Quantum) platform started in ’80 and was not used by VW until ’82 and the Audi 80 (Fox) stopped using the B1 platform in ’79. So VW used the B1 platform longer, apparently.
Always fun to see the alt.universe. Seems like the air-cooled engine should have been in front from the start. Headwind helps the airflow.
There are ways to make that happen in the rear (eg Tucker or Dauphine with inlets behind the doors) but VW never used them. In all except the last couple years of III and IV, the air inlets were designed to pull air OUT of the engine compartment, so the fan was fighting the car’s motion. Just plain stupid design.
Front wheel drive is pretty much universal today, so it can be difficult to look at the mechanical complexity from a 1930’s-1950’s perspective. Rear engine small cars, from VW, Fiat, Renault, Simca, Triumph, Chevrolet, and probably others I have forgotten, all had the advantages of the steering axle not being the driving axle and having very light steering effort without power assist.
Unlike a Cessna, cars driven in dense urban environments cant depend on ram air for cooling and still need big fans and tight ducting.
Air cooled VW’s always pulled the air in through the vents and blew the hot air out the bottom of the engine. That’s why there were metal plates under the cylinders to direct the hot air to the rear of the engine where it exited. That’s also why it was important to seal up the compartment with with all the gaskets and sheetmetal so the hot air would not enter the engine compartment and overheat the engine. The type 3 did not have a sealed compartment, but used a big rubber bellows clamped around the fan intake to only allow cool air from the body vents in. If the bellows ripped and developed leaks, the engine would suck in the hot air exiting the engine and over heat.
My friend had the engine out of his Type 3 Fastback and didn’t clamp the bellows on properly afterwards.. The fan managed to suck them in, destroying the dynamo belt and causing a right mess!
Anybody remembers the EA48 concept from 1955? It was the ur-grandfather of the Gol.
True, sort of. But really, the Gol was a shortened Audi 80 (B1), which had a longitudinal engine configuration. And VW Brazil was tooled up to build huge numbers of air cooled boxer fours, so it just made sense to do what they did. And of course, they weren’t the first ones to put a boxer four in front of the front axle.
Another interesting front drive air cooled engine VW truck built in Mexico
Great piece Rubens. Cheers
Your northern neighborgs had it infinitely better. A base Sierra 280 (all of them V6) would have annihilated that GT thing. Even a V6 Mustang “GT”. Or a Renault 18 2000GTX. Or the many cars that came as CKD kits from Brasil with infinetely better engines.
Great writeup, reminds me of a (much missed) friend from another blog.
I’ll echo the other congratulations and thanks for this.
I for one never knew there was an air cooled front engined VW anywhere!
Look up “basistransporter”. That’s another.
As the Golf and Jetta keep growing, I wish VW would offer something smaller to bang around town with. A Polo, or Gol, would fill the bill nicely. They seem to have their eyes elsewhere though. The new Tiguan looks very tasty, in spite of it’s size, but the US version will be even bigger, with room for three rows of seats. Gah!
Those lucky Canadians had a sub Golf sized car for a while: when the larger Mk5 Golf came out, Canada got a Brazilian built, facelifted Mk4, sold as the “Golf City”. Somehow one showed up here in metro Detroit last winter.
They did a bit of work on restyling the taillights too. They guy that ran the used car lot it was in said it wasn’t for sale. so….why was it in a used car lot? I wondered.
I thought it came from Mexico, where they were building the Jetta 4 with similar restyling….but I could be wrong. I think they look cool.
Canada also had a Jetta City, aka a restyled Mk 4.
In the early 2000s, the US market Jettas came from Mexico, while the Golfs came from Brazil, so it makes sense that the Canadian Jetta City would come from Mexico and the Golf City from Brazil.
The interior of the City looked pretty much the same as a Mk4, rather than updated to the Mk5 look, but overall a nice package for a price leader.
Interest to see that Brazilian restyled MkIV sold in Canada! I didn’t know that. To me, the redesign doesn’t match the rest of the car, and the results look cheap. I was happy to see it replaced in Chile with the real new Golf from Europe
To me, the redesign doesn’t match the rest of the car, and the results look cheap.
The new front clip appears to have more slope to the hood than the original, so, as you say, it doesn’t quite fit the beltline on the passenger compartment. It’s OK that it looks a bit cheap, as the Golf City was the cheapest in the model range, the same position the VW Fox had occupied in the US. The Mk4 was light enough that it delivered acceptable performance with the old 8 valve 2 litre engine, while the Mk5 in the US had a 2.5L 5 cylinder due to it’s greater size and weight.
Great article Rubens!! I went to Brazil in 1992 and I remember getting a ride in one of those. The air cooled engine sounded like a loud Subaru and the headroom was limited, but it was a good looking car for its time.
This was in Belo Horizonte, and one could still see some VW “Zé do Caixao”, Karmann Guia TC, and other rarities (to me) like the 2 door Santana and the Renault 12 looking Ford Corcels.
As we talked up there, the brazilian VW has some independence from Wolfsburg and that fact resulted in some unique cars. I glad that you had a chance to see some of them.
That hatchback Gol GT makes a convincing mini-Scirocco. Personally I like the wagon best–there’s still one or two running around Richmond, though in rough shape.
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this, Rubens. Great article, and I think the Gol hatch is a looker. Perhaps US VW probably didn’t want it here because it might cut into Scirocco / Corrado sales?
By the early 70s VW realized they couldn’t rely on this project forever, and in 1973 introduced the Passat, the first FWD, water-cooled car from the German brand.
I have always known that K70 (1969–1975), not Passat, was the first Volkswagen to have those features. Of course, NSU briefly called the dib on K70 for two years (1969–1970) before K70 was rebranded as Volkswagen in 1970. I could assume that Ruben intended for Passat to be first from Volkswagen do Brasil with those features to be manufactured there.