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Geneva show: Passat gets VW's Alltrack treatment

On track: Volkswagen's all-terrain version of the eighth-generation Passat is on its way to Australia with a host of trail-friendly features.

Volkswagen lifts the tarp on high-riding second-gen Passat Alltrack

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Volkswagen logo24 Feb 2015

VOLKSWAGEN has repeated the Alltrack recipe, with a second-generation of the high-riding Passat-based crossover revealed ahead of its official Geneva motor show public outing early next month.

Like the inaugural Alltrack, the next-gen version is based on the mid-sized Passat wagon but adds 4Motion four-wheel drive, tougher body panels and 28mm to the standard vehicle's ride-height for more go-anywhere ability.

The Haldex all-wheel drive arrangement sends all power to the front wheels until a slippery surface is encountered. Torque is then redirected in part to the back end to maintain progress off-road or pulling a boat up a wet ramp, for example.

Its new bodywork not only adds a differentiating look and better durability but also increases the vehicle's approach and departure angle allowing progress over steeper changes in gradient.

An elevated ride-height also boosts all-terrain ability with a greater breakover angle, but added underbody panels protect the vital undercarriage if the trail does get too rocky.

Volkswagen Group Australia public relations manager Kurt McGuiness told GoAuto the new Alltrack would be coming Down Under following a good reception of the previous model when it launched in 2012.

“The current Passat Alltrack has proved popular with Australian customers and we look forward to introducing the new model here in the first half of 2016,” he said.

Power comes in a variety of packages with a choice of 110kW or 162kW TSI petrol four-cylinders and three TDI diesels with the same number of cylinders ranging from 110kW through to a 140kW version, to the most powerful 176kW engine.

All versions are offered with the company's dual-clutch automatic transmission, but entry level petrol and diesel versions can be ordered with a six-speed manual gearbox.

Variants fitted with the most powerful petrol and diesel engines also get the XDS+ torque vectoring system to improve on and off-road traction by braking individual wheels as they begin to slip.

A choice of driving modes allows drivers of the new Alltrack to alter the 4Motion system according to the prevailing conditions, with Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual for a variety of on-road driving, while Offroad sets the car up for loose surfaces.

The German car-maker says the Alltrack is an “ideal towing vehicle” with a 2200kg braked capacity and EDS and XDS+ tailored for trailers and caravans.

Entry level petrol versions are limited to 1800kg.

In standard trim, wheels measure 17-inches in diameter but optional 18- and 19-inch rims will be available, while the modified bumpers, door mirrors and roof rails wear stainless steel-look detailing.

Interiors get stainless sill plates, Alltrack embossed Alcantara/fabric-covered comfort seats with 14-way adjustment and a massage function, a personalised information display, aluminium-look pedals and a special branded phone connection box to link with external aerial.

Some of the Passat's features are carried over to the Alltrack depending on the model including its MQB platform that also underpins the Golf. Trailer assist, key recognition car settings, active cruise control, lane assistance, seat memory, parking assistance and Google and Apple-based connectivity applications via the 6.5-inch touchscreen are all available.

Volkswagen's smaller Golf wagon has also been given the Alltrack treatment and will arrive on Australian soil about the middle of this year, ahead of the second-gen Passat Alltrack.

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