VW goes off-road with Passat Alltrack


The Alltrack is an off-roading Passat.

GERMAN car giant Volkswagen has released pictures of the new Passat Alltrack, which has made its world debut at the Tokyo Motor Show.
It should start to arrive in showrooms early next year.
Based on VW’s Passat Estate, the Alltrack has been given its 4MOTION four-wheel drive system and a greater ride height to give it off-road capability. Changes have also been made to the body to give protection from scrapes when driven off-road. These include stainless steel-look underbody protection panels and flared sills. Matt chrome roof rails, window surrounds, grille and exterior mirror casings are other styling touches.
The Alltrack is the same length as the Passat Estate, and despite flared wheel arch protection the vehicle’s width is also the same. Ground clearance is raised from 135 to 165 mm, which also improves the ramp breakaway angle (significant when crossing the crest of a hill) from 9.5 to 12.8 degrees.  Ruggedly styled front and rear bumpers increase the approach angle from 13.5 to 16 degrees, and the departure angle from 11.9 to 13.6 degrees.
In common with other 4MOTION vehicles, the Alltrack’s front axle is usually driven, with only 10 per cent of propulsive power going to the rear.  This saves on fuel.  If necessary, almost 100 per cent of power can be sent to the rear axle, through use of an electrohydraulic Haldex clutch.
The Passat Alltrack also features an off-road mode, similar to that on the Tiguan Escape.  When switched on, this activates hill descent assist, which automatically brakes the vehicle when the descent angle is greater than 10 degrees.  The ABS function is also altered, along with faster-reacting electronic differential locks (EDS) to prevent wheelspin.  For vehicles fitted with DSG dual-clutch transmission, the shift pattern is also altered when off-road mode is engaged, with higher shift points to give more power, a flatter and easier to manage accelerator pedal movement and no automatic upshifting in manual mode.
The Passat Alltrack will be available as a 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS with six-speed manual gearbox or a 2.0-litre TDI 170 PS with six-speed DSG transmission.  Standard equipment will include Alcantara upholstery, 2Zone electronic climate control, cruise control, tyre pressure monitoring system, MDI iPod connectivity, Bluetooth telephone preparation and 18-inch alloys.
The first orders are expected in April, with first deliveries scheduled for July.  More details including pricing will be available nearer the launch date.  For more information on the Volkswagen range visit www.volkswagen.co.uk.

The rear of the Alltrack