• Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
If this sounds familiar, it's because Volkswagen actually debuted the Golf Alltrack at last year's New York Auto Show. But while that was technically a prototype, this is the production version, scheduled to hit US dealers this fall.

Take one Golf SportWagen, add an inch of ground clearance, some cladding on the body panels, and a redesigned lower front fascia, and you get the Alltrack. Of course, the Alltrack also comes with 4Motion all-wheel drive, including an off-road mode with hill descent control, but otherwise, it's everything you already know about the SportWagen in a decidedly more rugged package.

Under the hood is Volkswagen's 1.8-liter turbocharged inline-four, with 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic will be the only transmission available at first, but here's some cool news: a six-speed manual will be available shortly after launch.

Last summer, I had the chance to put a European-spec, diesel-powered Golf Alltrack through its paces while on vacation in Germany. I drove it in cities, took it off road (sort of), piled four of my friends and their luggage inside, and put nearly 1,300 miles on the car over the course of two weeks. Heck, I even drove it on the Nürburgring (for good measure, of course). In every instance, the Alltrack performed admirably. It was comfortable, quiet, and efficient on the highway – that said, we aren't getting the diesel engine anymore, for obvious reasons. It had more than enough room for everyone and their stuff. And in close-quartered European cities, the small Golf footprint made it easy to park and maneuver. I tell you this because, aside from that engine, the car we're about to get here in the US is largely the same. And it's awesome. Need the functionality of a small crossover but don't want to just get the same Ford Escape as everyone else? Buy a Golf Alltrack.

I'm excited for these to arrive on our shores later this year. To read the full details about the US-spec model ahead of its New York debut, scroll down for the official press blast.

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Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Alltrack Walkaround | Autoblog Short Cuts

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- Adds 4MOTION® all-wheel drive to Golf SportWagen's on-road acumen
- Body cladding and additional ground clearance give Alltrack a rugged off-road look
- "Off-Road Mode" adds hill descent control and optimizes traction control
- Golf Alltrack offers cargo volume on par with compact SUVs for size and versatility
- Available driver assistance features include: Adaptive Cruise Control, and Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist).

Herndon, VA — New York, New York — Volkswagen of America, Inc., debuted today the U.S. production version of the all-wheel-drive Golf Alltrack, which goes on sale in the Fall as a 2017 model. The Golf Alltrack is based on the successful Golf SportWagen—Volkswagen SportWagen models have long been a top choice for customers who want a versatile and dependable vehicle that provides a sportier driving experience than compact SUVs.
"We heard from dealers and customers that they wanted to see a Golf SportWagen with the all-terrain capability that comes from an all-wheel drive system," said Joerg Sommer, Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy of Volkswagen of America, Inc. "We are excited to introduce the Golf Alltrack to meet the active lifestyle needs of our customers."

The Golf Alltrack shares its underpinnings with its Golf family siblings, from its MQB architecture to the turbocharged and direct-injection powertrain. The fun-to-drive EA888 1.8-liter, four-cylinder TSI® gasoline unit puts out 170 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque. At launch it will be mated to a six-speed dual-clutch DSG® automatic transmission: a six-speed manual transmission will be available at a later date.

While it boasts the on-road manners and fuel economy of a compact wagon, the Alltrack's defining characteristic is its 4MOTION® all-wheel-drive system. The 4MOTION all-wheel drive system uses the latest generation Haldex-5 coupling, activated via an electro-hydraulic oil pump. In normal driving, the Alltrack acts like a front-wheel-drive car for better fuel economy, but as soon as the system detects wheel slip, up to 50 percent of the drive torque can be shipped to the rear wheels. In addition to the Haldex coupling that acts longitudinally, electronic differential locks (EDL) at the front and rear axles act laterally in concert with the electronic stability control system. The system briefly brakes a wheel that is slipping, enabling uninterrupted and stable transfer of drive power to the wheel on the opposite side. The Golf Alltrack also features nearly an inch higher ground clearance over the SportWagen.

From the outside, the Golf Alltrack's rugged appearance is easy to differentiate from the SportWagen. Cladding for key body pieces, including the unique bumpers, wheel wells and side sills, gives off-road protection and the front fascia incorporates foglights and a unique honeycomb grille. The S and SE trimlines have 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, while the topline SEL trim has 18-inch wheels. Silver detailing, including roof rails, matte mirror caps and diffusor, adds a premium touch.

Inside, Alltrack mimics SportWagen in layout, but gets a more upscale feel. Leatherette seating surfaces are standard and Alltrack receives a unique brown leatherette option in addition to aluminum pedal covers, door sills with Alltrack branding and ambient lighting. Standard infotainment features include: a 6.5-inch capacitive color touchscreen with proximity sensor, rearview camera, and VW Car-Net® App-Connect connectivity.

A Drive Mode selector includes "Off-Road Mode," which adds hill descent control and optimizes traction control for off-road terrain. The Off-Road HMI displays compass, steering angle, and altitude when driving off-road. The Alltrack has a spacious trunk that's in line with those of compact SUVs. With the rear seats up, it boasts 30.4 cu ft of space: when the 60:40 split rear seat is fully folded, that figure rises to 66.5 cu ft of storage. The split folding rear seats are accessed by release levers in the cargo area, maximizing convenience.

Like the rest of the Golf line, the Alltrack provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems. It has been engineered to meet or exceed all current crash regulations and features no fewer than six airbags as standard along with a number of electronic safety systems. Alltrack models are equipped with standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC), the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System and an Intelligent Crash Response System. Available driver assistance systems include: Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), Lane Assist, and front and rear Park Distance Control with Park Assist.

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