Volkswagen reveals Alltrack Concept at New York International Auto Show

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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Car shows offer a unique opportunity for automakers to gauge market reaction to potential new models, and Volkswagen took advantage of the recent New York International Auto Show to show off its rugged Alltrack Concept to North American consumers. Although Volkswagen says it has no plans to bring a production version of the concept to these shores, it is essentially a version of the Passat Alltrack wagon already available in Europe. With its sedan-based foundation and offroad ability, Volkswagen claims its Alltrack Concept closes the gap between a passenger car and a sport utility vehicle.

The Alltrack Concept is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged direct injection (TDI) engine that produces 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The engine comes mated to a six-speed direct-shift dual-clutch automatic transmission and power is routed to all four wheels via a 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.

A unique feature of the Alltrack Concept is its offroad driving program which tunes vehicle dynamic and assistance systems for offroad use at the press of a button. The offroad program alters transmission settings and throttle mapping, sets higher control interval thresholds for the anti-lock braking system and engages the electronic differential locks faster in order to help prevent wheelspin. The Alltrack Concept also features a hill descent assist program that can automatically apply the vehicle's brakes while deactivating systems such as the adaptive cruise control.

In comparison to a regular Passat wagon, the Alltrack Concept has a 30mm (1.2 inch) increase in ground clearance which aids in its offroad ability. The Alltrack Concept also has solid steel skid plates underneath at the front and rear to protect the engine, gearbox and other key mechanical components from being damaged while traversing offroad.

Despite the fact that Volkswagen's Alltrack Concept was primarily designed for the U.S. market, any production version would likely be made available in Canada also. After all, similar vehicles such as Subaru's Outback, Honda's Crosstour and Volvo's XC70 are already available here and Volkswagen currently has no answer to the competition. A message to Volkswagen: If you build it, they will come.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, Wagon, Volkswagen, 2012, Alltrack Concept, Midsize,

Organizations: Volkswagen

Geographic location: New York

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