Volkswagen has released the first images of the new Passat Alltrack, which will make its world debut at the Tokyo Auto Show next week, and go on sale in early 2012. There’s no indication of whether this model will be sold in the US, although previous models of this kind have not been available to North American drivers.
The car is based on the current Passat Wagon, adding 4Motion four-wheel drive and a raised ride height to give greater agility off-road. It also gets rugged body enhancements designed to provide a degree of protection from scrapes when covering rough terrain.
The additions include stainless steel-look front and rear underbody protection panels and flared side sills. Other features include matte-chrome roof rails, window surrounds, grille and exterior mirror casings.
The Passat Alltrack is the same length as the Passat Wagon and, despite the flared wheel arches, is the same width as well.
The suspension has been raised just over one inch to increase ground clearance from 135 to 165mm, which also improves the ramp breakaway angle from 9.5 to 12.8˚. Furthermore, the front and rear bumpers increase the approach angle from 13.5 to 16˚, with a departure angle of 13.6˚.
As with other 4Motion vehicles, the Alltrack’s front axle is usually driven, with only 10 per cent of propulsion going to the rear axle to saves on fuel. If necessary, almost 100 per cent can be sent to the rear axle, through an electro-hydraulic Haldex clutch.
The Passat Alltrack also features an off-road mode, similar to the Tiguan. When selected, it activates hill descent assist, which automatically brakes the vehicle when the descent angle is greater than 10˚. The ABS function is also altered, with higher thresholds for operation on loose surfaces, along with faster-reacting electronic differential locks (EDS) to prevent wheelspin.
For vehicles fitted with DSG dual-clutch transmission, the shift pattern is altered when off-road mode is engaged, with higher shift points to give more power, flatter accelerator pedal movement and no automatic upshifting in manual mode.