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Published on November 24th, 2011 | by Seán Ward

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Breaking New Ground: VW Passat Alltrack

VW has unveiled the Passat Alltrack ahead of its international debut at the Tokyo Motor Show next week.

Based on VW’s successful Passat Estate, the Alltrack adds VW’s 4MOTION four-wheel drive system, as well as a reinforced undercarriage to deal with difficult off-road terrain.

The ride-height has been increased by 30 mm, from 135 to 165 mm. The front and rear bumpers have also been modified to allow the new car to attack steeper slopes.

Under normal driving conditions, 10% of the engine’s power goes to the front wheels to improve engine efficiency, but depending on grip, a maximum of 100% of the power can be put through the real wheels.

An off-road switch is fitted as standard, and activates a hill decent control similar to that of VW’s specialised small 4×4, the Tiguan. The system automatically brakes the vehicle when a slope reaches an angle of more than 10 degrees.

Hill starts are made easier by the system too – when a driver releases the handbrake on a hill and then releases the footbrake, the system recognises that the car is on a hill and applies the break for the driver, allowing the car to move forward but not roll back.

The electronic differential locks are faster on the Alltrack to prevent wheel spin on loose surfaces.

The new car will be available as a 2.0-litre TDI 140 bhp with six-speed manual gearbox or a 2.0-litre TDI 170 bhp with six-speed DSG transmission.

iPod connectivity, an Alcantara  interior, 18 inch wheels, Bluetooth, cruise control, climate control, and a tyre pressure monitoring system, with orders starting in April.

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