Off-road Passat to debut at Tokyo
The Passat Alltrack will be unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show next week before hitting showrooms early in 2012.
Reminiscent of the Allroad and Octavia Scout of sister brands Audi and Skoda, the Alltrack is pitched as having genuine off-road ability. It will be sold as a 4×4 for those who don’t want to got he full Tiguan SUV route.
The car’s off-road ability mainly involves combining the brand’s 4Motion all-wheel drive with a raised ride height. The lower sections of the body are also beefed up with stainless-steel look protection panels and flared wheelarches.
The ride height climbs by 30mm to 165mm, which also improves the approach and departure angles of the body, this helped by rugged-look bumpers front and rear.
On the road the Alltrack will behave as a front-wheel-drive vehicle, as in other models fitted with the 4Motion system. However torque transfer to the rear wheels can be almost 100 per cent if required.
Further adding to the mud-plugging credentials is an off-road mode switched in by a button on the dashboard. This includes a hill descent assist function, while also altering the ABS brakes and differential lock settings to better suit off road progress.
The car will be offered with two 2-litre diesel engine options, either the 138bhp unit with a six-speed manual gearbox or 167bhp version with the six-speed DSG transmission. On DSG-equipped cars the shift patterns will be altered in off-road mode to give more low-speed power, a more finely-controllable accelerator pedal and no automatic upshift when in manual.
VW UK says that order books will open for the car in April with first deliveries in July. How much it will sell for has still to be revealed but predictions suggest a £26,000-plus price tag.
Words by: Andrew Charman