The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, a rugged version of the all-new Passat estate has been revealed at the Geneva motor show.
A lot of the key differences between the standard Passat Estate and the Alltrack are apparent from the outside, but Volkswagen is keen to emphasise that the new model is not merely a styling exercise.
Plastic wheelarch and sill trims are immediately obvious differences from the standard car. Both front and rear bumpers are unique to the Alltrack, designed to improve approach and departure angles when used on rough ground. For the same reason, there is a beefed up undershield to protect mechanical and structural components from damage. Ground clearance is improved by a 27.5mm hike in ride height.
All Passats have well appointed cabins and the Alltrack is no different. Metal trim and a unique Alcantara and fabric interior treatment are standard, although leather is available as an upgrade.
There are mechanical differences too. All Alltrack models are four-wheel drive as standard, using Volkswagen's intelligent, on-demand 4Motion system. This sees the car functionally front-wheel drive until grip is lost, when a Haldex coupling shares drive with the rear wheels to maintain traction. The electronic differential lock also pushes drive to whichever wheel has the most traction in low grip conditions.
In addition, on top of the standard 'Eco', 'Normal' and 'Sport' drive modes in a normal Passat, the Alltrack gets an 'Off Road' mode. This adjusts throttle response, braking input and the hill start and descent systems to ensure any adventures away from the road are kept under control.
The Alltrack range has five engine options which feature in the standard Passat line-up. There are a pair of turbocharged petrol models available in 148bhp and 217bhp forms, the latter only being available with a six-speed DSG automatic gearbox.