Future Models - Volkswagen 2012 Passat
Tokyo show: VW uncovers pumped-up Passat Alltrack
Pumped up kicks: The Passat Alltrack Crossover will target rivals like the Subaru Outback and Skoda Octavia Scout when its lobs here next year.
Volkswagen confirms Passat Alltrack derivative to arrive in Australia in 2012
24 November 2011
VOLKSWAGEN has revealed a higher-riding crossover version of its latest Passat wagon, which will slot into its Australian range between the new Tiguan and Touareg SUVs by the end of next year.
The Passat Alltrack will make its global debut at next week’s Tokyo motor show just two weeks after another Passat derivative - the facelifted coupe-convertible, which is now badged simply as the CC – appeared at this month’s Los Angeles show.
Conceptually similar to the Octavia-based Scout and A6-based Allroad from sister brands Skoda and Audi, Volkswagen’s all-new Alltrack should command a price premium over the Passat wagon it is based on, to compete directly with light-duty crossovers like Subaru’s Outback, which is itself based on the Liberty wagon.
While the new Passat wagon – released Down Under in April – opens at $40,990 plus on-road costs in entry-level 118TSI auto guise, increasing to $45,990 for the 125TDI diesel auto variant, the Outback is currently priced from $38,490 in base petrol manual form here, increasing to $43,990 for the manual-only 2.0D Premium diesel.
In continental Europe, where it goes on sale early next year, Volkswagen’s first Passat-based soft-roader will be available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations with petrol and diesel engines.
Volkswagen will not reveal its plans for the Alltrack in Australia until January, but is expected to follow the UK’s lead by releasing a simplified range equipped with 4Motion all-wheel drive and a TDI diesel engine.
The jacked-up Passat will be built in Germany with four turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder engines, including 118kW and 155kW petrol and 103kW and 125kW diesel powerplants.
The most powerful petrol and diesel engines will be matched with 4Motion AWD and a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission as standard, so expect Australia’s Passat Alltrack to come in 125TDI auto form, in which guise it will return European combined fuel consumption of just 5.8L/100km and CO2 emissions of 152g/km.
In Europe, 4Motion will be optional on the Alltrack 103TDI, which returns 5.7L/100km and comes as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox.
In the UK, where orders will begin in April before first deliveries in July, the Alltrack will come standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, Alcantara faux-suede trim, dual-zone climate-control, cruise control, tyre pressure monitoring, iPod connectivity and Bluetooth.
Although the Alltrack is exactly the same length and, despite its flared wheel-arch cladding, width as the Passat Estate (4771mm and 1820mm respectively), its ride height has been increased from 135mm to a still relatively low 165mm.
This improves its ramp-over angle from 9.5 to 12.8 degrees, while more rugged front and rear bumpers with stainless steel-look underbody protection panels increase its approach angle from 13.5 to 16 degrees and its departure angle from 11.9 to 13.6 degrees.
Chunkier side sills and a matt-chrome grille, roof rails, window surrounds and wing mirror scalps are also fitted.
Volkswagen says the Alltrack is designed as an SUV alternative for customers who tow or frequent light off-road situations but want similar versatility and passenger space.
At the same time, its 4Motion AWD system increases traction while minimising fuel consumption by directing only 10 per cent of engine torque to the rear wheels in normal conditions – via an electro-hydraulic Haldex clutch - and having the ability to send up to 100 per cent when required.
The Alltrack will also come with an off-road mode similar to some versions of the facelifted Tiguan, which via a dash-mounted switch activates hill descent control, increases the ABS braking threshold and shortens the reaction time of the electronic differential locks (EDS) to reduce wheelspin.
In DSG models, it also alters the transmission mapping to deliver later upshifts in auto mode, prevent automatic upshifting in manual mode and increase throttle pedal travel.
The Alltrack will be just one of another landslide of new models from Volkswagen in 2012.
After introducing more than a model a month and moving into a larger new head office this year, Volkswagen Group Australia will next year also release the Scirocco R, single-cab and automatic versions of the Amarok ute, the facelifted CC, all-new Up city-car and new Beetle.