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The 2.8 V6 in the mid-late eighties produced a whopping around 120 - 150hp with 220 ft-lb of torque. I know this because I had an 1984 Cougar with the same anemic motor. In 84 it was 120hp, I'll bet Ford didn't find much more over the six years and 2 minor revisions to the styling of the car.

As mention, the 5.0 that was found in the XR7 had a lot more cajones. Just remember these are RWD cars and will launch different, if not better, then your Passat.

[edit: FYI, the 1990 XR7 had a supercharged V6 with 210hp and 315ft-lbs of torque. While the base LS had 140hp and 215ft-lbs of torque.]
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