Volkswagen Golf All-Wheel Drive Heavily Considered to Take On Subaru

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson

Volkswagen is heavily considering adding an all-wheel-drive variant of the Golf hatchback to its North American lineup, TTAC learned during the media launch for the all-new Volkswagen Alltrack, itself an all-wheel-drive version of the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen.

Dr. Hendrik Muth, vice-president of product marketing and strategy, explained the addition of 4Motion production to Volkswagen’s Puebla manufacturing facility in Mexico has opened up more possibilities, including the addition of all-wheel drive to the standard Golf hatchback.

“All-wheel drive is now part of the Volkswagen DNA,” Muth said at the Alltrack launch event. When asked if an all-wheel drive version of the Golf is being considered above all other possibilities, Muth answered in the affirmative: “Yes.”

Volkswagen’s focus on all-wheel drive is aimed directly at Subaru, which has been incredibly successful at promoting all-wheel drive across its lineup. Subaru currently has the lowest incentive spend per sale in the industry.

Volkswagen’s newest all-wheel-drive model, the Alltrack, will launch in October.

[Image: Volkswagen]

Mark Stevenson
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  • ThirdOwner ThirdOwner on Sep 13, 2016

    I've owned Golf II and Golf III. If VW still built them with the same mindset they'd keep me coming back. But anything they presently build feels unnecessarily brittle and complicated. Maybe it's just my perception, but they don't look like the same cars to me. Subaru on the other hand have been doing what Porsche had been constantly praised for - iteratively improving upon their core concept - but rarely getting credit for that in the same way. They have received the implicit credit though, in the form of their sales growth. The current generation Outback is currently in my top-three 'next vehicle' list, and probably at number one if I only consider the needs vs wants. They seem to have finally sorted out their engine issues. I'll gladly keep topping off the oil if that's the only problem remaining. I've owned used Land Rovers, didn't bother me much.

  • 05lgt 05lgt on Sep 13, 2016

    Does anyone think VW will be able to match Subaru on price/size category? Golf fits against Impreza, and the media will promptly test an AWD Golf against a (likely price competitive) manual WRX with predictable results. The fuel economy and oil consumption compromises of the boxer do yield a dynamic advantage from the lowered engine mass. Side by side tests only show the dynamic difference, and no one seems to care about 60k+ oil consumption rates. That's the second owners problem.

    • See 5 previous
    • Tedward Tedward on Sep 14, 2016

      @ThirdOwner Gtem You'd think so but no, both cars were still wearing their monroneys. I even asked if there was an incident to explain this or if the crosstrek conversion happened in port facilities. Apparently not. I obviously don't see something that bad on every car, but it's not a good thing either way. There's other issues with that car too, such as the orange paint jobs having an incredibly ugly and sloppy transition to grey primer under the hood. The two tone isn't a big deal, but the slop is disappointing. Perhaps they've cleaned that up since.

  • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on Sep 13, 2016

    Coincidentially, I saw a Golf R32 on the road today. I can see them selling something like that against WRX and rolling a cheapened version of it to compete against Imprezza. But what are they going to do against Crosstrek (XV)?

    • Tedward Tedward on Sep 14, 2016

      If they put the all trek springs on a golf and awd they'd have a cross trek competitor. I wouldn't buy that any more than I'd shop a cross trek. I honestly don't think they really care about adding awd to normal golfs to be honest. I think they are trying to use their supplier at (ptobably) contracted volumes while waiting for their mainstream product to switch to mqb. Tiguan and jetta, I'd bet any amount of money that those are the products that vw really wanted haldex in Mexico for. This all seems like busy work while they wait.

  • Doctorbob Doctorbob on Sep 13, 2016

    McKenna VW in Huntington Beach, CA is taking on Subaru as one of the brands it will sell. Essentially it will be a VW/Subaru store. It will interesting to see how they will market the brands.