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Volkswagen's New Passat Alltrack Ready to Scale the Alps

20 Février 2015 - Autoblog

Volkswagen Passat Alltrack

Volvo may be stepping up its off-roading game with a greater variety of Cross Country models tumbling out the factory in Gothenburg, but the other (larger) European automaker whose name starts with the letters V-O-L is also broadening and updating its range of road-going automobiles equipped to handle a little soft-road duty.

Aside from Audi's Allroad line, Škoda's Scout models and the new Seat Leon X-Perience, the Volkswagen brand itself has recently showcased Alltrack versions of the Golf, Multivan and of course the Passat. And now it's announced a new version of the latter for the European market.

Based on the Euro-spec Passat Variant, the new VW Passat Alltrack follows a familiar formula: take a station wagon, equip it with all-wheel drive, jack up the suspension, add some lower body cladding and some new trim and – voilà! – you've got a pseudo rough-roader on your hands. Set to debut in just a couple of weeks from now at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the new Passat Alltrack is visually distinguished by its new bumpers, underbody protection, beefed-up wheel arch moldings and a ride height increased by over an inch to the benefit of ground clearance as well as approach and departure angles.

European buyers who like to leave the road every once in a while (or give the impression that they do) will be able to choose from a range of five engines: two burning gasoline with either 148 horsepower or 217, and three diesels available in 148-, 187- or 237-hp states of tune. The base TSI and TDI engines are mated to a six-speed manual, while the top three are hooked up to a six-speed DCT, but they all come with 4Motion all-wheel drive as standard. All but the base TSI model boast a towing capacity of 1,800 kg, enhanced by a Trailer Assist system that automatically lines the vehicle up to a trailer. It even comes equipped with an off-road mode that incorporates Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Assist to make any journey across the Alps a breeze.

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