A new generation of the all-wheel drive Passat Alltrack will be celebrating its world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show (3 to 15 March). This Volkswagen is a genuine all-round vehicle: it can be used to drive through snowy passes to alpine ski pistes, along a beach with a boat in tow or to a construction site for a meeting with an architect. The new Passat Alltrack expands the horizons of active people. A touring car, business vehicle, family all-rounder and spacious SUV in one. A "can do" car. The off-road driving modifications – which include underbody protection, superior approach, departure and breakover angles, side sill extensions that are also fitted with underbody protection and rugged wheel arch mouldings – make the body tough and also give the vehicle its own distinctive style. At the same time, state-of-the-art technology ensures that the rugged appearance lives up to its promise: the Passat Alltrack also takes rough terrain in its stride effortlessly and reliably thanks to ground clearance increased by 27.5 mm, a special off-road driving programme with adapted assistance systems, a modified chassis and 4MOTION all-wheel drive.
Volkswagen offers a choice of five new direct-injection engines for the second generation Passat Alltrack: two turbo petrol engines (TSI) and three turbodiesel engines (TDI). They all comply with the Euro 6 emissions standard. The powerful TSI engines deliver 110 kW / 150 PS and 162 kW / 220 PS respectively. The range of high-torque TDI engines also starts at 110 kW / 150 PS; two additional engines deliver 140 kW / 190 PS and 176 kW / 240 PS. Stop/start and battery regeneration systems are included in the standard specification. Volkswagen offers the 150 PS TSI and TDI engines with a manual 6-speed gearbox. All of the more powerful versions come equipped with a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
All-wheel drive as standard
As already mentioned, the new Passat Alltrack is equipped with 4MOTION all-wheel drive as a standard feature. It is based on a fifth generation Haldex coupling and becomes active even before slip occurs to eliminate nearly all loss of traction. In normal driving, only the front wheels are driven, saving fuel. But as soon as there is a risk of losing traction, the rear axle is smoothly engaged in a fraction of a second. Along with the Haldex coupling that acts as a longitudinal lock, the electronic differential locks (EDS) integrated in the electronic stability control system (ESC) act as transverse locks for all four wheels. If a wheel starts to spin, they ensure that drive power is directed to the wheel on the opposite side within fractions of a second. In addition, the Passat Alltrack 2.0 TSI with 220 PS and 2.0 TDI with 240 PS are also equipped with XDS+ on both axles. This system – available as an option on all other Passat Alltrack models – brakes the wheels on the inside of the bend during fast cornering and thus optimises the steering response. In technical terms, XDS+ is a functional extension of the electronic differential locks.
All Passat Alltrack derivatives offer various driving modes as standard. In addition to the "Eco", "Normal", "Sport" and "Individual" driving modes, as seen in other versions of the Passat (in combination with adaptive chassis control DCC), the additional "Offroad" mode is a USP within the Alltrack model range. Pressing a button adapts all relevant driving and assistance systems in the Passat Alltrack to off-road use. Some examples: by changing the ABS regulation intervals in "Offroad" mode, the tyres can build up a wedge of stones on loose surfaces during emergency stops, thus reducing the stopping distance. In addition, Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Assist prevent the vehicle from rolling backwards on uphill slopes and unwanted acceleration on downhill stretches. The accelerator can be operated more sensitively. Extending the dual-clutch gearbox to include an additional speed-reduction gearing helps when it is necessary to proceed with caution off-road. At the same time, gear shift points are higher and automatic upshifting is suppressed in manual mode.
Towing capacity of 2,200 kg
The Passat Alltrack offers significantly enhanced safety and dynamics with its alliance of EDS, XDS+ and 4MOTION. It is also an ideal towing vehicle: for a twelve per cent gradient, the Passat Alltrack has a (braked) towing capacity of 2,200 kg (exception: the 110 kW / 150 PS TSI has a towing capacity of 1,800 kg).
The Passat Alltrack is an independent model within the model series. This means that lots of features have been designed specifically for the all-rounder that are exclusively available on this model. Exterior details include the redesigned bumper and underbody protection in stainless steel look (at the front with custom fog lights, at the rear with integrated trapezoidal trims for the exhaust system), door mirror housing in "matt chrome", Alltrack badges on the radiator grille and tailgate, anodised silver roof rails, custom 17-inch alloy wheels (optionally available are custom wheels in 18 and 19-inch format) rugged wheel arch and side sill mouldings in "anthracite", side sill extensions with underbody protection in "brushed aluminium look" and Alltrack lettering on badges on the front wings.
Like the exterior, the interior of the Passat Alltrack has been specifically modified to express the independent character of this model. Starting with the very rugged stainless steel door sill plates with embossed "Alltrack" lettering and floor mats with flat felled seam, the customisation extends to "Alltrack" comfort seats. These feature Alcantara on the outer sections and the new fabric decor "7 Summits" on the centre panels. Various leather options, electric 14-way adjustment, seat climate control and a massage function are available as options. The sturdy pedals come in aluminium look. Furthermore, the Active Info Display has been individualised for the Passat Alltrack. The horizontal ventilation strip is upgraded with custom trim in a "Tracks" design. Further standard equipment includes a coupling box for mobile phones; it connects a smartphone to the external vehicle aerial of the Passat Alltrack; "Alltrack" is embossed on the box lid.
The eighth generation Passat is the foundation
As the Alltrack is based on the new eighth generation Passat, and therefore on the modular transverse matrix (MQB), a pioneering range of driver assistance and infotainment systems is available for the all-terrain model. These technologies include an Active Info Display (fully digital instruments), head-up display (for the projection of information), "Media Control" rear seat entertainment system for tablet computers, Front Assist plus City Emergency Braking function with Pedestrian Detection, Side Assist (lane change assistant), Emergency Assist (stops vehicle in emergency), Traffic Jam Assist, Rear Traffic Alert (detects other vehicles crossing when reversing out of a parking space), a previously unrivalled level of personalisation and Trailer Assist (assisted manoeuvring with a trailer). Details follow on the new personalisation, Trailer Assist (an important feature for the Passat Alltrack) and the new infotainment systems:
Reversing with a trailer is a challenge even for drivers who are experienced in this. That is why Volkswagen is offering the new Trailer Assist system for the Passat Alltrack, which is frequently ordered with a tow bar. The system makes manoeuvring with a trailer easier than ever before. This is how Trailer Assist works:
- Reverse gear. To back a trailer into an entrance from the street, all the driver needs to do is stop at a suitable spot and engage reverse gear. The system is activated by pushing a button.
- Camera-based. The current and possible steering angles are visualised in the instrument cluster. This is done based on image processing algorithms from the data from the rear view camera, which monitors and analyses the angle between the car and the trailer. The articulation angle that is optically recorded is used to calculate the steering wheel angle independent of any special types of trailers or draw bars.
- Mirror adjustment as part of the system. With the help of the mirror adjustment switch, which serves as a sort of joystick, the driver can adjust the desired driving direction of the car-trailer combination. The Passat Alltrack responds to the driver's steering commands via the mirror adjustment switch and steers the vehicle; all the driver needs to operate are the brake and accelerator pedals. The driving direction of the Passat is automatically controlled by the electromechanical power steering system. It is always possible to make a correction via the mirror adjustment control.
The number of comfort and assistance systems increases with each new vehicle generation, and the new Passat Alltrack is no exception. Many of these systems are individually adjusted and used by different drivers of the car, meaning that drivers frequently have to reactivate their personal settings. Volkswagen has designed a new generation of personalisation that simplifies this process significantly. This involves combining the individual settings for a driver into a user account, which is saved by the vehicle. Drivers can call up user management to activate their individual user account, and thereby implement their individual settings. Drivers simply identify themselves with their vehicle key; this is done when the vehicle is unlocked. This activates initial settings such as adjusting the seat position on the driver's side. An overview of personalisation options in the Passat Alltrack, which depend on the specific equipment version:
- Ambient lighting
- Adaptive Cruise Control ACC
- Infotainment system (incl. media library, navigation, telephone)
- Automatic climate control
- Instrument cluster/multifunction display
- Lane Assist
- Light and Sight
- Memory seat
- Park Assist
- Side Assist.
- Mirror adjustment
Infotainment – welcome Apple and Google
As mentioned, the infotainment systems in the Passat Alltrack are also new, and they enable maximum connectivity for interfacing to external devices. The various interfaces include integration of smartphones via "App Connect". This is based on the MirrorLink™ application and – two applications making their debut in Volkswagen cars in 2015 – "CarPlay" (Apple) and "Android car" (Google). These three platforms enable integration into the infotainment systems of the Passat Alltrack for nearly all smartphones and a huge range of apps. The infotainment line-up consists of five radio and radio-navigation systems: the 5-inch display devices "Composition Touch" (standard in the Passat Alltrack) and "Composition Colour", the 6.5-inch systems "Composition Media" and "Discover Media" (plus navigation), and the 8.0-inch radio navigation system "Discover Pro".