We're pretty fond of the 2012 Volkswagen Passat, and we aren't alone. But for all of the vehicle's merits, there are a few of our favorite options missing from the American order sheet. For starters, buyers in the land of the free can't bring home a long-roof version of the mid-sizer, and all-wheel drive is nowhere to found either. These absences are made all the more painful by the fact that European buyers can snag this, the new 2012 Passat Alltrack. The vehicle is set to debut at this year's Tokyo Motor Show and boasts the Volkswagen 4Motion all-wheel drive system as well as a taller ride height for overcoming rough terrain and deep snow.

That smell? It's just the noxious fumes of envy wafting through the internet.

Volkswagen has thrown in a set of flared fender arches as well as revised front and rear bumpers. Under normal operation, the Passat Alltrack kicks 90 percent of the engine's power to the front axles, though 100 percent of the grunt can be shifted to the rear tires if need be. In the UK, buyers may chose between two variants of the German automaker's 2.0-liter TDI four-cylinder engine. Hit the jump for the full press release.
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RUGGED PASSAT ALLTRACK COVERS NEW GROUND FOR VOLKSWAGEN

Volkswagen has today released the first images of the new Passat Alltrack, which is making its world debut at the Tokyo Motor Show next week, ahead of its introduction to the market in early 2012.

Based on the popular and versatile Passat Estate, the Passat Alltrack adds 4MOTION four-wheel drive and a raised ride height that give it greater agility off-road, along with stylish body enhancements that also provide some protection from scrapes when covering rough terrain. These include stainless steel-look front and rear underbody protection panels and flared side sills. Other features include matt chrome roof rails, window surrounds, grille and exterior mirror casings.

At 4,771 mm, the Passat Alltrack is exactly the same length as the Passat Estate, and despite flared wheel arch protection the vehicle's width also remains the same at 1,820 mm. The suspension is raised to increase ground clearance from 135 to 165 mm, which also improves the ramp breakaway angle (significant when crossing the crest of a hill) from 9.5 to 12.8 degrees. Ruggedly styled front and rear bumpers increase the approach angle from 13.5 to 16 degrees, and the departure angle from 11.9 to 13.6 degrees.

As with other Volkswagen vehicles featuring 4MOTION, on the Passat Alltrack the front axle is usually driven, with only 10 per cent of propulsive power going to the rear axle. This saves on fuel. If necessary, almost 100 per cent of power can be sent to the rear axle, through use of an electrohydraulic Haldex clutch.

The Passat Alltrack also features an off-road mode, similar to that on the Tiguan Escape. When switched on (via a dashboard-mounted button), this activates hill descent assist, which automatically brakes the vehicle when the descent angle is greater than 10 degrees. The ABS function is also altered, with higher thresholds for operation on loose surfaces, along with faster-reacting electronic differential locks (EDS) to prevent wheelspin. For vehicles fitted with DSG dual-clutch transmission, the shift pattern is also altered when off-road mode is engaged, with higher shift points to give more power, a flatter and easier to manage accelerator pedal movement and no automatic upshifting in manual mode.

In the UK, the Passat Alltrack will be available as a 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS with six-speed manual gearbox or a 2.0-litre TDI 170 PS with six-speed DSG transmission. Standard equipment will include Alcantara upholstery, 2Zone electronic climate control, cruise control, tyre pressure monitoring system, MDI iPod connectivity, Bluetooth telephone preparation and 18-inch alloys.

Retailers in the UK are expected to start taking orders for the new car in April, with first deliveries scheduled for July. More details including pricing will be available nearer the launch date. For more information on the Volkswagen range visit www.volkswagen.co.uk.


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  • 66 Comments
      Justin Campanale
      • 3 Years Ago
      The only reason that wagons don't sell in America is because we don't get them here, and due to the poor advertising they get when they do come here. I haven't seen a SINGLE Outback or v70 or XC70 ad. I know several people over here in New Hampshire with some of the world's worst winters who would willingly (say that 10 times fast) buy this in an instant. Proud owner of a Magnum SRT8.
        over9000
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        Have you forgotten about the crossovers that have flooded the marketplace? They are better than any wagon in the snow. Wagons were made available for years and it didn't sell well in North America. I don't know what the hell you're talking about, we DID get wagons but people didn't want them.
      toyslacker
      • 3 Years Ago
      Eff You VW! Eff You! We get the shaft on this side of the pond for Wagons... No Passat Wagon, No A6 Wagon, No C-Class Wagon, No S4 Wagon, No RS4 Wagon, No V60, No More V70... Eff You VW!
        Tiberius1701
        • 3 Years Ago
        @toyslacker
        ...No turkey sandwiches, no gallons of turkey soup...but seriously, until the dopey folks here in the colonies get over their obsession with SUV's we will forever be denied a proper station wagon.. I personally would settle for a Focus wagon.
        Lachmund
        • 3 Years Ago
        @toyslacker
        why don't you just buy them and leave your suv-mania behind? alright...the soccer moms....i get it
        JEO
        • 3 Years Ago
        @toyslacker
        Well, my guess if that's the case that it's now VW's fault, but the US Federal Government who likes to get in the way of markets and my life.
      Matt C
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm a former Golf owner here in Canada and this is one of the first cars I would honestly consider going and buying new off the dealer's lot. The subie outback is a monstronsity, the a4 allroad doesn't appeal, and this looks like it has just enough ground clearance to satisfy the "maybe I need to get an SUV" line of thought. It would only need to come with one engine: the TDI and the the mileage figures would kill almost any SUV on the road. PLEASE bring to Canada / North America!
      Jess B
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would definitely buy this VW Passat Alltrack if it were sold in the U.S. I have no interest in buying a CUV or SUV, although I would make an exception for a VW Touraeg, but would much prefer a sedan-based wagon with an offroad suspension. That's why I bought my Audi A6 Allroad 2.7Turbo Wagon in 2004 and love it. At the time, I considered the Volvo XC-70 and Subaru Outback. Neither one came close to the Allroad's refinement, handling, features, styling, etc. The A6 Allroad is still available in Europe and is supposed to be replaced with the new A6 bodystyle that just went on sale this year. If Audi would bring the A6 Allroad back to the U.S, I would definitely buy one to replace my 2004. I know that there will be an A4 Allroad wagon available next summer, but it is too small. I want a big mid-size luxury wagon with an off-road suspension. So if Audi doesn't bring back the A6 Allroad, then the best alternative would be this Passat Alltrack or keeping my 2004 Allroad indefinitely.
      lumpiang shanghai
      • 3 Years Ago
      hmmm... would be a great replacement for my 05 Passat wagon 4mo..... guess i have to look other brands i.e. subaru
      icerabbit
      • 3 Years Ago
      Since VW decided to no longer bring this type of vehicle I am eyeing a Volvo XC70. Otherwise a a Tdi Passat wagon 4motion was my dream car, as a former golf driver.
      JimCeezAll
      • 3 Years Ago
      I guess I have to keep taking care of my '04 A4 Avant. I was hoping to replace it soon with something like this car or the Buick.
        Lachmund
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JimCeezAll
        how about the new a4 allroad coming next year?
      Novanglus
      • 3 Years Ago
      The only way to bring those features to America would be to modify the vehicle enough to classify as a light truck (see the latest Outback and the XC70). It would kill VW's CAFE rating in the car category. American's don't hate station wagons. The CAFE system makes them unaffordable except for luxury makes.
      Paul M
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm not one who is prone to swearing, but lots of 4 letter words circulated through my mind as soon as I read it's another Euro-only deal. When will VW get it? If they want to be the world's #1, they need to bring their best cars to the place where more cars are sold (i.e., America). I'd trade in my Mazda yesterday to have this.
        Lachmund
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Paul M
        even if it is 10.000 bucks more?
        volswagn00
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Paul M
        I just bought an Acura TSX Sportwagon to replace a Saab 9-5 wagon. Wanted something a little bigger than the Acura, but figured I'd have many trouble-free miles with it. Had a Passat wagon been available, even with VW's dubious reliability record, I'd have had to have given it serious thought.
      Crash Bandicoot
      • 3 Years Ago
      We need to start a write in campaign, because this car is sick. I bought an 08 Passat Wagon 4motion because I wanted a european wagon with awd, and don't have $50 g's. But I would trade in the wagon for this in a second, especially if the diesel was available. Seriously, VW, bring this to the US and I will buy one.
      MICHAEL
      • 3 Years Ago
      I believe Audi is bringing back the allroad in A4 Avant dress next summer...not likely enough market space for the Passat 'allroad"
      volswagn00
      • 3 Years Ago
      WHY won't VW bring this to the US? It would be the ONLY car that would get me back into the brand!!
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