Audi has the A6 Allroad Quattro and Škoda’s range includes the Octavia Scout, both of which are estate cars with jacked-up suspension and all-wheel drive.
Perhaps not wanting to be excluded from that particular niche, sister brand Volkswagen has just announced the Passat Alltrack, which is to be unveiled at December’s Tokyo Motor Show ahead of market launches in early 2012.
Based on the Passat estate, the Alltrack is distinguished by its chunkier bumpers, pseudo bash plates and black plastic extensions for the sills and wheel arches.
It definitely is not a car in which to tackle any serious off-roading but, in fairness to Volkswagen, that’s not what it’s claiming the Alltrack is for. Rather, the target market is those who regularly find themselves towing, driving on unmade ground, or in other situations where additional ground clearance and some extra traction would be useful.
Even so, it’s still bizarre that on the 138 bhp (103 kW / 140 PS) 2.0 litre turbodiesel version, all-wheel drive is actually a cost option. Without it, what’s the point?
The 4Motion system does feature as standard with the other three engine choices, though. These comprise a pair of TSI turbocharged petrol units - either a 157 bhp (118 kW / 160 PS) 1.8 litre or a 207 bhp (155 kW / 210 PS) 2.0 litre - plus another 2.0 litre TDI that produces 167 bhp (125 kW / 170 PS). The two most powerful engines also come with the DSG dual-clutch transmission.
Specific market availability and pricing for the 2012 Volkswagen Alltrack have yet to be confirmed.
CrossPolo not cross country