Volkswagen launched the first Passat in July 1973. The modern fastback sedan with front-wheel drive and a water-cooled in-line engine installed at the front in a transverse configuration was a sensation. Until then, with the exception of the K70, the history of Volkswagen had been dominated by air-cooled flat-fours installed at the rear. The first Passat was a weight-optimized car with two or four doors and space for five people. From January 1974, the new Passat Estate was available for heavy-duty transport tasks. In the first full sales year (1974), 133,000 customers already opted for a Passat. The first million units were sold by December 1976. Currently, this best-selling model is in its eighth generation. Together with all the derivatives, more than 26 million Passat have been sold to date.