The first Passat Variant was presented at the beginning of 1974, about six months after the debut of the fastback model. All subsequent Passat generations were launched in Europe simultaneously as fastback (or later sedan) and estate models. The second-generation Passat Variant followed in 1980 and became available as a syncro model with four-wheel drive for the first time in 1984. The third generation was launched in 1988, followed by the redeveloped fourth generation in 1993 and the fifth generation in 1996. When the sixth Passat made its debut in 2000 as an upgrade to the fifth generation, it had developed into a refined all-rounder which was even available with an eight-cylinder engine from 2001 onwards. Subsequent generations followed in 2005, 2010 and 2014.