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AIMS: VW shows off Beetle II, Passat off-roader

Grand entrance: The versatile Passat Alltrack will be priced below $50,000 when it reaches showrooms on November 1.

All-new Beetle and Passat Alltrack front Volkswagen’s big show stand in Sydney

16 Oct 2012

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia’s new-generation Beetle and Passat Alltrack series are the headline acts on its stand at this week’s Australian International Motor Show (AIMS), two key forthcoming models that should bolster the German brand’s strong standing in the marketplace.

Limited-issue models such as the Caddy Edition 30, and recent releases like the Up city car and MY13 Touareg and Passat will also be prominent in Sydney, although the Australian public’s first taste of the seventh-generation Golf will have to wait until closer to the crucial new small car’s arrival in the first half of next year, possibly when Melbourne hosts the show in June.

VW is also expected to announce a capped-price servicing deal for the Up at the show.

Full Australian-spec details of the Passat Alltrack will be revealed closer to its showroom arrival on November 1, although Volkswagen has confirmed it will be priced from below $50,000 – well within sight of the $45,990 Passat 125TDI Highline wagon upon which it is based.

3 center imageFrom top: Volkswagen Caddy Edition 30 Up.

As GoAuto reported from Austria earlier this year when we first drove the off-road-oriented Alltrack, Volkswagen will offer the model in a single, highly specified diesel variant that comes with a raised body, cosmetic enhancements, extra undercarriage protection, 4Motion part-time four-wheel-drive, retuned electronic driver assistance systems and a 2000kg braked towing capacity (up 500kg).

The Alltrack has a higher ground clearance than the regular Passat – up 40mm to a still relatively low 165mm – while the front, ramp and departure angles also rise, from 13.5 to 16 degrees, 9.5 to 12.8 degrees, and 11.9 to 13.6 degrees respectively.

Combining with a six-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission, the 125TDI’s 2.0-litre direct-injection common-rail turbo-diesel engine produces 125kW of power at 4200rpm and 350Nm of torque from 1750-2500rpm.

The European-spec Alltrack is capable of combined-cycle fuel consumption of 5.9 litres per 100km and CO2 emissions of 155g/km, figures that are only only slightly higher than the equivalent front-drive Passat despite the 1725kg Alltrack carrying a weight penalty of around 170kg. Acceleration from 0-100km/h is a claimed 8.9 seconds.

The latest Beetle, meanwhile, is sure to be a crowd favourite as it appears in Australia for the first time ahead of its sales launch early next year.

Pricing and full Australian details will be revealed closer to launch, but as GoAuto reported exclusively in August, the second-generation ‘New Beetle’ looks set to launch with a single powertrain – a 118TSI (118kW) 1.4-litre four-cylinder ‘Twincharger’ (turbocharged and supercharged) petrol engine, combining with either a six-speed manual gearbox or seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic.

VW Australia is also still to confirm the local introduction of the cabriolet version of the redesigned Beetle, which broke cover earlier this month ahead of its debut at the Los Angeles auto show next month.

The limited-edition Caddy Edition 30 to be launched in Sydney celebrates 30 years of VW’s compact commercial vehicle.

Priced from $37,990 driveaway and based on the five-seat short-wheelbase Caddy Life people-mover, the Edition 30 receives an engine upgrade with a 103kW/320Nm 2.0-litre TDI320 engine (paired with a six-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission) and carries a host of unique exterior and interior appointments.

These include a gloss-black roof panel, 17-inch two-tone alloy wheels, body-coloured bumpers, front foglights, roof rails and Edition 30 motifs on the rear doors, tailgate and sill plates.

The cabin has two-tone Alcantara upholstery, a leather-clad steering wheel, climate-control air-conditioning and full interior trim that takes the Edition 30 a step away from its commercial vehicle origins.

Volkswagen sales are up 25.1 per cent so far this year and the German brand is currently in eighth position on the top-10 sales charts, holding a 4.9 per cent market share with more than 40,000 new registrations to the end of September.

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