Volkswagen Reveals 2012 Passat Alltrack

A more practical and capable estate will be released for the European market. And no, it won't be coming to the U.S.

Set to be officially unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show next week, the toughened-up version of the European Passat wagon will be launched next year, sitting between the regular Passat wagon and the Tiguan in the VW line-up. Genuine off-road capabilities are claimed by VW and this is made visually apparent with the newly designed SUV-style front & rear bumpers and the flared wheel-arches wrapped in plastic cladding.The suspension has also been raised by 30mm for a higher ground clearance.

To give it a chance over unpaved terrain the off-road ramp, approach and departure angles have all been increased; and VW's Off-Road Driving Program, borrowed from the larger SUVs, has also been added for a more assured and focused off-road drive. At speeds of up to 18mph, the system can be activated by an off-road button on the dashboard and will electronically tune equipment such as ABS, torque control, electronic differential, and hill descent to make them more effective on loose surfaces. Two turbocharged gasoline versions (TSI), with 158hp and 208hp, and two 2.0-liter turbodiesels (TDI) with 138hp and 168hp, are being offered.

The most powerful Alltrack versions, the 208hp TSI and 168hp TDI, will have standard 4MOTION all-wheel-drive and a dual clutch transmission. Emphasis is being placed on the Alltrack's off-road lifestyle capabilities, acting as one-part towing vehicle and one-part sporty, versatile passenger car. A 603-liter trunk, optional moveable cargo load floor and space divider make the Alltrack a solid transporter machine, while the Alcantara suede trim, climate & cruise control, and 18-inch alloys complete the package. Prices and detailed specs have yet to be released but these will be made clear around the time of its official unveiling in Tokyo.

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