Volkswagen Group of America may launch a rugged, all-wheel-drive wagon based on the next-generation Golf to rival the Subaru Outback, Automotive News reported, citing sources privy to the carmaker’s product plans. VW has approved an all-wheel-drive version of the redesigned Golf-based Jetta SportWagen, which will be rolled out in the United States in late 2014.
According to sources, the German carmaker is high likely to turn the AWD version into a spin-off model with higher ground clearance and body cladding, which is similar to the Alltrack concept unveiled at the 2012 New York Auto Show. VW is already selling a model -- a modified Passat wagon called the Passat Alltrack -- that rivals the Subaru Outback in Australia.
The German carmaker, however, discontinued the Passat wagon in the US when it introduced the Chattanooga-built Passat in 2011. An AWD Outback powered by a 2.5-liter engine paired to a six-speed manual has a starting price of $23,495.
On the other hand, a front-wheel-drive Jetta SportWagen powered by a 2.5-liter engine mated to a five-speed manual has a base tag of $21,390. All prices include shipping. Despite the SportWagen having the price advantage, the Subaru Outback had outsold it nearly five times in the in the United States in 2012.