The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack is getting a baby brother at this year's 2014 Paris Motor Show in the form of a new Golf Alltrack. Like its larger sibling, the little wagon is supposed to offer light-duty off-road driving ability combined with a more rugged look to show it off.
To give the Golf Alltrack that soft-road ability, VW is outfitting the wagon with its latest 4Motion all-wheel drive system from Haldex. The setup can decouple power from the rear-axle when not needed to save fuel. To further improve traction, the Alltrack gets VW's electronic differential lock, and the car can individually brake its inside wheel during hard cornering for better handling.
Volkswagen also wants the Alltrack to be able to visually show that it can handle getting away from the pavement, even though it starts life as a standard Golf wagon. That means jacking up the suspension an extra 0.75 inches and adding black moldings all the way around the car. There are also redesigned bumpers for the front and rear and silver underbody protection, plus new accents like anodized roof rails and silver mirror caps. The interior is essentially unchanged from the wagon, except for altered trim and Alltrack badges.
The European engine range for the Alltrack has four options: a 1.8-liter turbocharged gasoline unit with 178 horsepower, a 1.6-liter turbocharged diesel with 109 hp and two tunes of 2.0-liter TDI oil-burner with either 148 hp or 182 hp. The top petrol and diesel versions come with a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox as standard.
While the pumped-up body and slightly higher ride height might not make it to North America, earlier photos showed the newly re-dubbed Golf Sportwagen with 4Motion badges for the US (at least on the TDI model), and we wouldn't be surprised to see VW chase the popular Subaru Outback with the vehicle seen here. For now, though, all we know is that UK sales of the Golf Alltrack begin in the summer of 2015. Scroll down to read the full announcement.
► Crossover of estate car and SUV brings together on- and off-road worlds
► For all terrains: Golf Alltrack launches with all-wheel drive and off-road look
► Four powerful engines: new TSI with 180 PS and three TDI engines with up to 184 PS
When Volkswagen introduced the Passat Alltrack, it closed the gap between the on-road and off-road worlds. Now Volkswagen is transferring this concept to another vehicle class with the new Golf Alltrack.
Europe's largest carmaker is celebrating the world premiere of this all-wheel drive model at the Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris next week (2 to 19 October). Technical and visual properties of the Golf Alltrack include a 4MOTION all-wheel drive system, higher ground clearance, wheel arch mouldings and flared side sills that offer body protection, newly designed bumpers and many other independent exterior and interior features.
Power units are a TSI petrol engine and three diesel engines, all powerful turbocharged direct injection units. The 1.8-litre TSI with 180 PS is an entirely new addition to the Golf range. Diesel units will comprise a 1.6-litre TDI with 110 PS, plus two 2.0-litre TDI engines with 150 and 184 PS. The versions with 180 PS and 184 PS transfer their power to the all-wheel drive system via a standard six-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG).
Permanent all-wheel drive
4MOTION.The new Golf Alltrack was designed for good performance on both asphalt and light off-road terrain. The 4MOTION all-wheel drive system is the technical foundation here, equipped with the latest generation Haldex coupling, which activates even before slip occurs and prevents nearly all losses in traction thanks to a proactive control. Under relatively low engine load conditions, or when coasting, forward propulsion comes primarily from the front axle, while the rear axle is decoupled. This basic drive layout saves on fuel. If necessary, the rear axle can be variably engaged within fractions of a second. This is done by the Haldex-5 coupling, which is activated via an electro-hydraulic oil pump. A control unit continually adjusts the ideal drive torque for the rear axle and controls how much the multi-plate clutch should engage by activating the oil pump. If necessary, nearly 100 per cent of the drive torque can be directed to the rear axle.
Offroad driving profile and off-road suspension. The combination of the up to 20 mm higher ground clearance, "Offroad" driving profile and 4MOTION four-wheel drive system give the newest Golf off-road driving traits that are typical of an SUV. The "Offroad" driving profile activates a hill descent function (automatically brakes the car), modified accelerator pedal characteristic and off-road configuration of the ABS system (modified control interval when braking forms desirable wedge of gravel in front of wheels).
The Golf Alltrack not only offers exceptionally good off-road properties and active safety benefits; it is also an ideal towing vehicle, designed to handle trailer loads of up to 2,000 kg (braked on 12 % incline).
Direct-injection turbocharged engines
One TSI, three TDI engines. As mentioned, the new Golf Alltrack will launch with four four-cylinder engines; they all fulfil the EU-6 emissions standard. The power range of the engines 110 PS to 184 PS.
1.8 TSI with 180 PS. For the first time in the Golf, Volkswagen is offering a 1.8-litre TSI with 180 PS (from 4,500 rpm). The direct-injection four-cylinder turbocharged engine is ideally suited for use in the Golf Alltrack, because it develops an impressive maximum torque of 280 Nm from a low 1,350 rpm, and maintains this constant value up to 4,500 rpm. The Golf Alltrack 1.8 TSI is equipped with a 6-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) as standard. The versatile vehicle has a top speed of 135 mph and accelerates to 62 mph in 7.8 seconds. This agility contrasts with an economical fuel consumption figure of 41.5 mpg (equates to 158 g/km CO2).
1.6 TDI with 110 PS. The entry-level engine to the Golf Alltrack range is a 1,598 cc TDI with 110 PS which consumes just 60.1 mpg (equates to 124 g/km CO2). The engine reaches its maximum power between 3,200 and 4,000 rpm, and its maximum torque of 250 Nm is available between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. This engine accelerates the Golf Alltrack 1.6 TDI to 62 mph in 12.1 seconds and enables a top speed of 116 mph.
2.0 TDI with 150 PS. At the next power level up, Volkswagen uses a 1,968 cc TDI with 150 PS
in the Alltrack which has a combined fuel consumption of just 57.6 mpg (127 g/km CO2). This 2.0-litre TDI has two balancer shafts which makes it run very smoothly. It develops its maximum power between 3,500 and 4,000 rpm, and its maximum torque of 340 Nm is available from a low 1,750 rpm (up to 3,000 rpm). The Golf Alltrack 2.0 TDI has a top speed of 128 mph and accelerates to 62 mph in 8.9 seconds.
2.0 TDI with 184 PS. This Golf Alltrack 2.0 TDI sets a record with an output of 184 PS (at 3,500 to 4,000 rpm), becoming the most powerful Golf ever in an Estate body. The two-litre turbocharged engine delivers its maximum torque of 380 Nm to the 6-speed DSG – which comes as standard on this car – from a low 1,750 rpm. It maintains this constant value up to 3,250 rpm. The car's power and torque figures, along with its all-wheel drive system not only perfect its off-road properties but also enable trailer loads of up to 2,000 kg (braked on 12 % incline). The engine, which was adapted from that in the Golf GTD, also delivers extremely sporty driving performance: 7.8 seconds for the sprint to 62 mph and 136 mph top speed are proof of this. The Golf Alltrack 2.0 TDI consumes just 55.4 mpg (134 g/km CO2).
Design and customised features
Exterior – front and rear. The independent front end of the Golf Alltrack features a low-profile radiator grille crossbar in the upper front area that sports an aluminium look (matt) and extends into the headlights. The radiator grille in honeycomb design with a chrome "Alltrack" badge was designed in matt "Black". The lower cooling air intake in the fully redesigned bumper also has a honeycomb structure.
Another visual highlight here is a distinctive crossbar in "Reflex Silver", which extends across the entire width of the bumper and into the side body where, like a wing, it integrates the standard fog lights (with integrated cornering lights). Underbody protection in "Reflex Silver" completes the lower section of the front end. At the rear, the Golf Alltrack – which is equipped with dark-red rear lights – has a new bumper design with a visually dominant underbody protection in "Reflex Silver". The version with the 180-PS TSI engine can be made out by its dual-branch exhaust system with separate chrome tailpipes on the left and right. Meanwhile, the TDI versions have a sporty visual presence with dual chrome tailpipes on the left side.
Interior.The high-end interior of the Golf Alltrack reflects its sporty off-road character. In this car, interior styling is defined by such details as a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear shift lever, custom seat covers with the "Alltrack" badge on the backs of the front seats, accents in "Dark Magnesium" (centre console) and "Tracks" (dashboard and interior door trim) as well as ambient lights in the door trim. Other standard features (in addition to the "Comfortline") include: automatic climate control ("Climatronic"), LED reading lights for the front and rear seats, lights in the front footwell areas, "Composition Touch" infotainment system, Driver Alert System and cruise control system. Exclusive features include a chrome trim strip with "4MOTION" lettering on the centre console compartment lid, stainless steel door sill plates with "Alltrack" lettering and chrome accents for various switches and buttons (lights, electric windows, mirrors). Sporty features include the (optional) black rooflining, including upper roof pillar trim elements, and custom pedals and foot rest with an aluminium look.
The Golf Alltrack is expected to go on sale in the UK by summer 2015.