Volkswagen Passat Alltrack Concept coming to NY to gauge stateside reaction

For those that want the utility of an SUV without the size of an SUV, the choices are quite limited in the United States. To gauge the desire of such a vehicle for the North American market, Volkswagen will show its Passat Alltrack Concept at the 2012 New York Auto Show.

“This car closes the gap between passenger car and SUV,” Volkswagen said in a statement. “With chunky bumpers and flared side skirts, as well as a raised ride height, the Alltrack shows that it’s as comfortable off the beaten path as it is in the city.”

Power for the Volkswagen Alltrack Concept comes from a 2.0 liter turbocharged TDI Clean Diesel engine making 140-hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.

Don’t think for a second that the Volkswagen Alltrack Concept has no offloading capabilities. The model includes the following features to make it an off-loading king (or prince if you take into account the size):

  • A solid underbody guard made of steel plate.
  • The offroad program modifies the settings for the safety and driver assistance systems.
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS) has higher control interval thresholds; on loose surfaces, such as gravel, a wedge of material is formed in front of the tires to decelerate the vehicle more effectively.
  • Electronic differential locks react more quickly to help prevent wheelspin at individual wheels.
  • A Hill Descent Assist program is automatically activated when the gradient exceeds 10 percent.
  • In offroad mode, the throttle map is altered to give a ‘longer’ pedal to more accurately meter engine power. At the same time, gearshift points are raised, automatically giving the driver higher engine revs.
  • The Alltrack’s ground clearance is raised by 1.2 inches compared with a non-Alltrack model.

Volkswagen is quick to point out that there are currently no plans to bring the vehicle to the United States. However, ‘the concept is set to gauge market reaction to a potential future model that is similarly sized and combines offroad ability with wagon versatility,’ V-dub said in a statement.

2012 New York Auto Show

– By: Omar Rana