Volkswagen Golf Alltrack: Europe now, U.S. later?
In what would be a Subaru Outback competitor, Volkswagen launched the new Golf Alltrack model in Paris. While company execs won't comment on its future as part of the U.S. lineup, we're led to believe there's at least a 50/50 chance we'll see some variation of this stylish on/off-roader turn up here at some point, as either a 2017 or 2018 model.
A key ingredient of the Alltrack formula is its standard 4Motion all-wheel-drive setup that includes off-road profile mapping and specific suspension tuning that adds nearly an inch more ground clearance than a Golf Sportwagen. Incorporating the latest Haldex-5 center differential, 4Motion facilitates near-instant engagement of the rear wheels when traction conditions warrant. The electro-hydraulic clutching mechanism can direct nearly 100 percent of the available engine torque to the rear axle. The new Golf Alltrack also features VW's XDS electronic differential locking on both axles that uses selective braking to optimize steering response when one of inside wheels loses grip in a corner.
Raising its curbside profile
Like its larger Passat Alltrack sibling seen in concept form at the 2012 New York Auto Show, the new Golf Alltrack features a host of cosmetic touches including more boldly shaped front/rear fascias, new grille inserts, Reflex Silver mirror caps, undefined "underbody protection" elements, protective black wheel arches, side-sill and bumper trim, Silver anodized roof rails, bespoke 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome exhaust tips and the requisite Alltrack badges. Inside, this new Golf crossover-estate boasts a sportier look that includes unique seat coverings, chrome accents, a Composition Touch infotainment system and a Driver Alert System.
At launch, the new Alltrack will be available with four different turbocharged engine choices culled from the existing Euro-spec Golf and backed by a 6-speed DSG automatic transmission. The lineup includes a gasoline-fired 178-horsepower/1.8-liter TSI 4-cylinder and as well as three TDI diesel alternatives: a 108-horse/1.6-liter, a 148-horse/2.0 liter and a range-topping 181-horse/2.0-liter that develops a stout 280 lb-ft of torque from just 1,750 rpm. The most potent motivator ever to be fitted to a Golf wagon of any kind, it lets the Alltrack tow up to 2,000-pounds. We'll have to wait to see if this new Golf offshoot ends up doing any trailering duty here in the States.
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