Volkswagen will introduce this Alltrack Concept at the New York Auto Show next week, because apparently that's more fun than just coming out and saying "maybe we'll build a wagon version of the new Volkswagen Passat." Because that's what this is. A diesel-powered, Outback-flavored European Passat wagon.
Amazingly, nowhere in the press release for this vehicle is the word "Passat" actually mentioned. As if it were pulled fully formed from the brain of some designer at Volkswagen. They call it the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack in Europe, for whatever that's worth.
On the interesting side, for America they've kept all the good stuff. It's powered by Volkswagen's 2.0-liter TDI, which produces 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque through a 6-speed DSG automatic.
Power goes to all four wheels through a modified version of the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system, which is tuned to better utilize the ABS and electronic differentials to react quickly to whatever soft-roading adventures one might find themselves in while driving the Alltrack. There's also a hill descent program.
It's also "raised by 1.2 inches compared with a non-Alltrack model" according to the press release. A non-Alltrack model of what? Just say the word Passat! Perhaps this is because the concept appears to actually be built on the smaller European Passat platform, which is shorter and less de-contented than our fatso American version.
Volkswagen says its intentions are to gauge reaction before committing to any kind of production. If they're serious about an Outback fighter with a diesel engine built on the superior European platform we're all for it. The other possibility is, of course, they just didn't have anything else to show at New York.
Maybe that's why it looks so sneaky in the press photos.