• Higher ground clearance, new off-road design
  • 4MOTION all-wheel drive
  • Loaded with features and a sharp sub-$50k pricing
  • Volkswagen extends its best-selling Passat model range with another specialist: the Passat Alltrack. This new version closes the gap between Passat Wagon and SUVs such as the Touareg. The new model is defined by SUV-style bumpers – with wheel well and side sill arches. Its greater off-road ramp angle, approach angle, departure angle and higher ground clearance all make the Passat Alltrack an excellent SUV alternative. The Alltrack makes its Australian debut at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney.

    Power and performance

    Powered by Volkswagen’s 125kW 2.0-litre TDI engine, the Passat Alltrack is also equipped with 4MOTION all-wheel drive and a dual clutch transmission (DSG). While the Alltrack’s turbocharged diesel engine makes a potent 350Nm of torque, the Alltrack maintains the kind of frugal fuel consumption Volkswagen owners expect; with combined fuel economy of just 6.3l/100 km, thanks to the standard BlueMotion Technologies.

    Visual modifications

    The declared goal of Volkswagen’s designers was to reflect the Alltrack’s all-road competence with functional styling. In the area of the side profile, for example, the classic wheel housings and side sill arches are used; offering functionality and rugged protection. In interplay with the higher ground clearance, the underbody protection panels are integrated front and rear, further establishing a link between passenger cars and SUVs designs.

    Dimensions in detail

    At a length of 4,881mm, the Passat Alltrack is slightly longer than the Passat Wagon (4,771mm). Despite the wheel housing arches, its width remains identical at 1,820mm. The Passat Alltrack has a ground clearance of 165mm, an approach angle of 16 degrees and a departure angle of 13.6 degrees.

    Off-road driving program

    Volkswagen SUV drivers are familiar with the “off-road function”, a driving program offered on the Touareg. For the first time at Volkswagen, this clever, multifunctional system is available in a Passat Alltrack. The driver activates this programme by pressing an Off-road button on the centre console. Specifically, the settings for the safety and driver assistance systems and DSG control are modified as follows:

    Safety systems: The anti-lock braking system (ABSplus) is now characterised by higher thresholds for control intervals; on loose road surfaces such as gravel, a wedge of road substrate is formed in front of the tyres to decelerate the vehicle even more effectively. At the same time, the electronic differential locks (EDL) react quicker to prevent wheelspin at individual wheels. The engine’s torque control (ASR) is modified in parallel.

    Driver assistance systems: Hill descent assist is automatically activated at a descent angle greater than 10 degrees; braking the vehicle while functions of the optional
    adaptive cruise control (ACC) and Front Assist are deactivated.

    4MOTION all-wheel drive

    The Passat Alltrack is delivered with 4MOTION all-wheel drive. Normally, the front axle is the primary drive axle in the Passat Alltrack 4MOTION; while the rear axle only gets ten per cent of the drive torque, saving on fuel. The rear axle is gradually engaged depending on the specific driving and road situation.

    Pricing and standard features

    The Passat Alltrack comes with an impressive list of standard features, and maintains the kind of sharp, competitive pricing synonymous with Volkswagen, with a starting price under $50,000.

    In terms of safety, the Passat Alltrack comes with eight airbags, daytime running lights, ESP and a fatigue detection system; while in keeping with the rest of the Passat range, the Alltrack also features standard satellite navigation, rear view camera and a power tailgate, plus a leather-appointed interior.

    Full specifications and pricing of the Passat Alltrack will available at launch later this month.

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