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Auto Show:  2012 New York Auto Show

Volkswagen Alltrack Concept: New York Auto Show

author photo by Nick Palermo April 2012
  • Passat wagon-based, but with higher ground clearance and rugged styling
  • Turbocharged diesel engine and six-speed dual clutch automatic
  • Off-road goodies including sophisticated all-wheel drive and underbody plating

The latest Volkswagen Passat has garnered praise for its roomier interior and friendlier price point. Its available turbodiesel engine continues to be a hit, too. Sure, it's a fine sedan, but what about the Passat wagon?

Not since the 2010 model year has a Passat wagon been offered in the U.S. With their Alltrack Concept however, VW is hinting that some Passat-based wagon variant may be headed our way. The Alltrack, which is making its North American debut at the New York Auto Show, is a Passat-based concept with more aggressive styling, outfitted for off-road driving and powered by VW's efficient and capable TDI engine. The company says the concept is intended to gauge Americans' interest in a potential similar model.

Styling is rugged, with increased ground clearance and beefier bumpers, sills and wheel arches. Fog lamps up front and twin chrome exhaust pipes play up the sportiness, too. Underbody shields, including a steel plate section under the engine compartment, protect the Alltrack's vital parts from hazards off road. Standard anodized silver roof rails complement the matte chrome trim surrounding the windows.

Under the hood is the familiar 2-liter TDI, a four-cylinder turbodiesel with direct injection. The highly efficient engine delivers 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

A sophisticated all-wheel drive system includes a driver-selectable off-road mode, which alters settings for torque distribution, throttle mapping, braking and stability control. It also raises upshift and downshift points and includes a hill descent braking feature for steep inclines.

While Volkswagen suggests that the Alltrack may be ideal for the U.S. - straddling the line between car and SUV - the company says it does not intend it as a future model for sale here. We may, however, see something very similar. In the Alltrack's New York show press release, Volkswagen says a "model that is similarly sized and combines offroad ability with wagon versatility" is a future possibility. Americans that miss the Passat wagon may not have to wait long.

What it means to you: The Alltrack Concept has a diesel engine, rugged looks and the trappings of a capable off-roader. Volkswagen may soon offer something similar to U.S. customers.

Check out more news from the New York Auto Show.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Volkswagen Alltrack Concept: New York Auto Show - Autotrader