Volkswagen Passat Goes Crossover

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
volkswagen passat goes crossover

One of my first jobs as a rookie copywriter in 1973 was the Passat. The Passat, basically a rebadged Audi 80, was the first of the new generation (Passat, Scirocco, Golf, Polo) that saved Volkswagen from eternal damnation and laid the groundwork for Volkswagen’s success today. (See, rebadging isn’t all that bad, it just has to be done right.) Ever since, well over 15 million Passat were built in all shapes and forms. And now, the Passat goes crossover.

First, the name: Passat Alltrack. That sounds a little like a tractor, or the illegitimate son of a hot date with a Unimog. But knowing the Passat, it will survive even that choice. The crossover genre is not as popular in Europe as it is stateside, so Volkswagen goes to great pains to explain it:

“This new version is offered in an estate car configuration, and it closes the gap between the conventional Passat Estate and SUVs such as the Tiguan. The rationale here: many car drivers who use their car as a towing vehicle, or in light off-road situations, want a versatile, sporty and very roomy passenger car that has rugged qualities. Volkswagen developed the Passat Alltrack for this clientele. In comparison with the familiar Passat Estate, the new model is defined by new bumpers in SUV style – with wheel well and side sill flares. Its greater off-road ramp angle, approach angle, departure angle and higher ground clearance all make the Passat Alltrack an excellent SUV alternative for driving on unpaved track.”

That was easy.

Two turbocharged direct injection gasoline engines (TSI) with 118 kW / 160 hp and 155 kW / 210 hp and two turbodiesels (TDI) – also with direct injection – with 103 kW / 140 hp and 125 kW / 170 hp are available in the Passat Alltrack.

The 170 hp TDI and the 210 hp TSI come with standard 4MOTION all-wheel drive and a dual clutch transmission (DSG). For the Passat Alltrack with a 140 hp TDI, all-wheel drive is optional.

The Alltrack will debut in a world premiere at the Tokyo Motor Show. Why there? Because it is based on the Euro Passat. Market launch for the new versatile Alltrack begins in early 2012.

In the U.S., you need to wait for what will be done to the Chattanooga-Passat.

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3 of 48 comments
  • Ryoku75 Ryoku75 on Nov 23, 2011

    Can I just call it a "Passat Station wagon"?

  • Billy215 Billy215 on Nov 23, 2011

    Isn't "CrossPassat" more in keeping with current naming convention? Audi Allroad, Subaru Outback, Volvo XC70... long live the AMC Eagle!

    • Zykotec Zykotec on Nov 25, 2011

      Yup, if they had brought it to Europe and put a tiny diesel in it, AMC might still have been among us today :)

  • Lou_BC I realized it wasn't EV's burning by the absence of the usual suspects.
  • Kwik_Shift A manual bug eye WRX wagon (2001-03) would interest me more.
  • El scotto Ferrari develops a way to put a virtual car in real time traffic? Will it be multiple virtual players in a possible infinite number of real drivers in real time situations?This will be one of the greatest things ever or a niche video game.
  • El scotto It's said that many military regulations are written in blood. Every ship's wheel or aircraft joystick has a human hand on it at all times when a ship or aircraft are under power. Tanks, APC's and other ground vehicles probably operate under the same rules. Even with those regulations accidents still happen. There is no such thing as an unmanned autopilot, ever. Someone has to be on the stick at all times.I do not think MB understands what a sue-happy nation the USA is. The 1st leased MB in a wreck while this Type 3 "Semi-Autonomous" driving, or whatever it is called, will result in an automatic lawsuit. Expect a class action lawsuit after the 1st personal lawsuit is filed. Yes, new MB owners can afford and ever are lawyers.Mercedes Benz; "The best wrecks or nothing!" Oh and has anyone noticed that Toyota/Lexus and Honda/Acura, the gray suit with white shirt and striped tie, automobile companies have stayed away from any autonomous driving nonsense?
  • Merc190 Very streamlined but not distinctive enough for a Mercedes. And besides, the streetcar of the early 20th century seems a far more efficient and effective method of people moving in essentially an autonomous manner. A motor car is meant to be driven with proper attention to what's important in every situation. To design it otherwise is idiotic and contradictory.