I'm intrigued...how does the W8 compare to the 1.8T, or 2.5L engines? How big of a power boost over those two does it give you when driving? I remember reading about the W8 when VW first introduced it on the Passat, but its $40,000.00+ price tag discouraged me from buying one. I like the concept of an 8-cylinder engine that's smaller than a traditional V8, yet gives one the same performance.
The W12 engine in the Phaeton I test-drove back in January '04 wasn't much bigger than a large-block V8, but boy did it move!!
I have never driven the 1.8T so I can not compare. The W8 is a monster in power and very fast (6 speed manual) and the power band comes to life at the top end speeds. The car; however, is too large and heavy for SCCA autocross. I'm finishing this season and may have to use it for the next but am presently building up my 16V Jetta to take over as my autocross racer.
I have a 2003 W8 manual wagon, and I have a friend with a 2003 1.8 manual wagon, about the same amount of miles on them. my w8 outperforms in every way besides gas mileage. its faster than my moms 325HP Cadillac with a V8