2011 Tokyo Motor Show: Vw Passat Alltrack is ready to hit the market

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 30, 2011

For 40 years, more than 15 million Passat automobiles have been manufactured. With its practical and versatile qualities, the success of the worldwide bestseller can be attributed to the company's wide and diverse range of products. Now, Volkswagen is expanding the model lineup with the addition of Passat Alltrack, which is offered in an estate vehicle configuration.

This new version closes the gap between the conventional Passat Estate and SUVs like the Tiguan. The new model is meant for car owners who use their vehicle for towing or for light off-road situations, but also want a sporty, versatile and spacious passenger vehicle with rugged qualities.

When compared with the Passat Estate, the new vehicle is defined by new bumpers in SUV style with wheel well and side sill flares. Adding to the qualities that make Passat Alltrack an excellent SUV alternative for driving on unpaved track are the greater off-road ramp angle, departure angle, higher ground clearance and approach angle. The company unveiled today the Alltrack at the Tokyo Motor Show. Market launch for this model begins early next year.

The Passat Alltrack is available in two turbocharged direct injection petrol engines (TSI) with 118 kW / 160 PS and 155 kW / 210 PS as well as in two direct injection turbodiesels (TDI) with 103 kW / 140 PS and 125 kW / 170 PS. The 170 PS TDI and the 210 PS TSI are the two most powerful Alltrack variants and come with a dual clutch transmission (DSG) and standard 4MOTION all-wheel drive.

As for the one with a 140 PS TDI, an all-wheel drive is optional. When it comes to engine efficiency, the 140 PS version has a low combined fuel consumption of 5.7 l/100 km (equivalent to 150 g/km CO2). On the other hand, fuel consumption for the 170 PS version is 5.8 l/100 km (152 g/km CO2).

Looking at the exterior of the new Passat Alltrack, one will immediately notice the standard alloy 17-inch Valley wheels. If that’s not enough, the 18-inch Canyon wheels are being offered as an alternative. Standard as well are the roof rails though these have been anodized in silver.

Other features expected on the exterior are chrome tailpipes, the fog lights, underbody guards in the rear, and the stainless steel appearance on its front. Meanwhile the trim strips on the radiator grille, housings of its door mirror, and the window surrounds, all come in a Matte chrome style. There are also various special details to be offered for the Passat Alltrack.

This is in addition to the body improvements, enhancement of the running gear, and the off-road driving program. In general, a number of features that are fitted as standard have been tuned and customized in order to meet the needs of this version as well as its off-road capability. An interesting feature in the new Passat Alltrack is the four-link suspension in the rear.

Aside from being lightweight, it is able to deliver stability and maximum driving comfort. Because of how the links are designed, it allows for the transverse dynamics to be tuned separately from the longitudinal one. The result of this functional splitting is that dynamic performance is optimized. Vehicle safety is guaranteed as well in addition to offering excellent ride comfort.

The way this suspension works is that it is composed of an isolated subframe where the upright, through the transverse link, track rod, and spring suspension, are joined in a transverse and upward direction.

Furthermore, the longitudinal links are able to handle the wheel location through a longitudinal direction. Still on the rear portion, its axle utilizes what are known as tube stabilizers that have been weight optimized. One reason why the Passat Alltrack is able to deliver such an amazing comfort is mainly because its rear suspension has been separated from the body through the use of subframes.

While we may find this isolation method difficult to imagine, the Alltrack makes this possible through rubber-metal mounts, a total of 4. These mounts are made of rubber that has been made specifically to meet the dynamic requirements needed when driving. The overall result is that by isolating the subframe, ride comfort and acoustics are enhanced. This means that the Passat Alltrack is at the same level as those in the luxury class.

Press Release

VW Passat Alltrack

Over the past four decades, well over 15 million Passat cars have been built. Along with its favourable all-round qualities, the success of the bestseller - which is sold on all of the world's continents - can be attributed to the Passat's wide and diverse range of versions. Now, Volkswagen is extending the model series with another specialist: the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack.

This new version is offered in an estate car configuration, and it closes the gap between the conventional Passat Estate and SUVs such as the Tiguan. The rationale here: many car drivers who use their car as a towing vehicle, or in light off-road situations, want a versatile, sporty and very roomy passenger car that has rugged qualities. Volkswagen developed the VW Passat Alltrack for this clientele. In comparison with the familiar Passat Estate, the new model is defined by new bumpers in SUV style - with wheel well and side sill flares. Its greater off-road ramp angle, approach angle, departure angle and higher ground clearance all make the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack an excellent SUV alternative for driving on unpaved track.

Two turbocharged direct injection petrol engines (TSI) with 118 kW / 160 PS and 155 kW / 210 PS and two turbodiesels (TDI) - also with direct injection - with 103 kW / 140 PS and 125 kW / 170 PS are available in the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack. The two most powerful Alltrack versions, the 170 PS TDI and the 210 PS TSI, have standard 4MOTION all-wheel drive and a dual clutch transmission (DSG). For the VW Passat Alltrack with a 140 PS TDI, Volkswagen will offer all-wheel drive as an option. Just how efficiently the engines of the VW Passat Alltrack operate together with the intelligently controlled 4MOTION all-wheel drive system is illustrated by the two TDI engines: the 140 PS version has a low combined fuel consumption of 5.7 l/100 km (equivalent to 150 g/km CO2), while fuel consumption for the 170 PS version is 5.8 l/100 km (152 g/km CO2).

Engines and gearboxes

The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack is offered in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (4MOTION). However, in both cases the vehicle is designed to tow large trailer loads and drive through extremely rough terrain. That is why torque-strong turbocharged engines are used exclusively in the latest Volkswagen - two petrol (TSI) and two diesel (TDI) engines. The maximum torque of the efficient four-cylinder engines lies in the range of 250 to 350 Newton metres. None of the four engines requires more than 1,750 rpm to achieve its maximum torque, making it ideal for all driving situations.

140 to 210 PS. The two petrol engines of the Volkswagen produce 118 kW / 160 PS (1.8 litre displacement) and 155 kW / 210 PS (2.0 litre displacement); the two turbodiesels, each with 2.0 litre displacement, produce 103 kW / 140 PS and 125 kW / 170 PS. Both TDIs are delivered as BlueMotion Technology versions (BMT) as standard - i.e. with Stop/Start system and battery regeneration mode for recovering braking energy. The models with a petrol engine also have a battery regeneration mode.

170 and 210 PS versions have 4MOTION as standard. The most powerful Alltrack versions, the 170 PS TDI and the 210 PS TSI, are always equipped with permanent all-wheel drive (4MOTION) and a dual clutch gearbox (DSG). For the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack with 140 PS (TDI), Volkswagen offers all-wheel drive as an option. The VW Passat Alltrack - like all other Passats - is built in the Volkswagen factory in the north German city of Emden.

Under six litres fuel per 100 km. Just how efficiently the VW Passat Alltrack engines work together with the intelligently controlled 4MOTION all-wheel drive is illustrated by the two TDIs: the 140 PS version's combined fuel consumption is a low 5.7 l/100 km (equivalent to 150 g/km CO2), while the 170 PS version attains a value of 5.9 l/100 km (155 g/km CO2). And yet, the petrol engines - which like the diesels are equipped with direct fuel injection - are equally efficient engines. The combined fuel consumption of the 160 PS TSI is 7.7 l/100 km, while the 210 PS TSI attains 8.5 l/100 km. An overview of all powertrain combinations:

Front-wheel drive standard
1.8 TSI - 118 kW / 160 PS (6-speed)
2.0 TDI - 103 kW / 140 PS (6-speed, BMT)
All-wheel drive / 4MOTION standard
2.0 TSI - 155 kW / 210 PS (6-speed DSG)
2.0 TDI - 125 kW / 170 PS (6-speed DSG, BMT)
All-wheel drive / 4MOTION as option
2.0 TDI - 103 kW / 140 PS (6-speed, BMT)
1.8 TSI with 118 kW / 160 PS
The 1.8 TSI develops its maximum power of 118 kW / 160 PS between 4,500 and 6,200 rpm. Its maximum torque of 250 Nm is available between 1,500 and 4,200 rpm. Even with this 'base engine', the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack can reach a top speed of 211 km/h and sprint from 0-100 km/h in just 8.9 seconds. A more important parameter, however, is flexibility from 80 to 120 km/h in 6th gear: a value of 11.5 seconds reflects the impressive torque development of the 1.8-litre turbocharged engine. Its dynamic performance contrasts with a low combined fuel consumption of 7.7 l/100 km (180 g/km CO2). With a fuel tank capacity of 70 litres, this yields a theoretical driving range of over 900 km. The maximum trailer load in this version, with trailer brakes (8 per cent incline) is 1,700 kg.

2.0 TSI with 155 kW / 210 PS

The 'large' TSI develops its maximum power of 155 kW between 5,300 and 6,200 rpm. Its maximum torque of 280 Newton metres is available between 1,700 and 5,200 rpm. The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2.0 TSI, which always has all-wheel drive, can accelerate to an impressive 212 km/h. This Volkswagen handles the sprint to 100 km/h in 7.8 seconds. This engine comes with a standard 6-speed DSG. The most powerful Passat Alltrack has a combined fuel consumption of 8.5 l/100 km (199 g/km CO2). Its maximum trailer load with trailer brakes on an 8 per cent incline: 2,200 kg.

TDI with 103 kW / 140 PS

Entry into the world of the TDI in the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack is offered by a 1,968 cc sixteen-valve, four-cylinder with 103 kW / 140 PS (at 4,200 rpm). At a low 1,750 rpm (up to 2,500 rpm) the exceptionally quiet TDI develops a maximum torque of 320 Newton metres. These key engine parameters enable the turbocharged engine to accelerate the Passat Alltrack - in this case with a manual gearbox and front-wheel drive - to 100 km/h in just 10.2 seconds. The vehicle's top speed is 201 km/h. This contrasts with a remarkably low combined fuel consumption of just 5.2 l/100 km, which corresponds to CO2 emissions of just 135 g/km. And yet, the optional 4MOTION version is also very fuel-efficient: in this case, the all-wheel drive vehicle reaches a top speed of 198 km/h and consumes a low 5.7 l/100 km (150 g/km CO2). While the front-wheel drive version with trailer brakes can tow 2,000 kg on inclines up to 8 per cent, the towing capacity of the 4MOTION version is 2,200 kg.

TDI with 125 kW / 170 PS

By the time it was used in the Golf GTD, the tremendous performance potential of the 125 kW / 170 PS (at 4,200 rpm) 2.0-litre sixteen-valve four-cylinder engine was already considered legendary. In the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, the engine performs with sporty responses and refined running qualities. The TDI develops its maximum torque of 350 Newton metres between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm - developing sufficient power and force to accelerate the all-wheel drive version to 100 km/h in just 8.9 seconds. Its top speed: 211 km/h. This TDI also consumes very little fuel. Its combined fuel consumption is 5.9 l/100 km - even with all-wheel drive - which is an impressive example of fuel efficiency (CO2 value: 155 g/km). The 170 PS Alltrack can also tow 2,200 kg (on an 8 per cent incline).

Freewheeling mode and BlueMotion Technology. The 170 PS DSG version is equipped with a freewheeling function as standard. This function disengages the engine from the gearbox during coasting phases, which reduces fuel consumption. As already noted, all TDIs also have BlueMotion Technology modifications; they include the Stop/Start system and a battery regeneration mode. In addition, these models have an auxiliary battery data module (to acquire momentary charge status), a heavy-duty starter, DC/DC converter (guarantees voltage stability of the onboard electrical system) and an absorbent glass mat battery with excellent deep-cycle performance. The Stop/Start system and battery regeneration in detail:

Stop/Start system

The driver approaches a red light, brakes the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack to a stop, shifts to neutral and takes his or her foot off the clutch (with DSG it is sufficient to press the brake pedal). This immediately shuts the engine off. The 'Stop/Start' indicator now appears on the multifunction display. As soon as the traffic light turns green and the driver presses the clutch pedal (or simply releases the brake pedal with DSG), the engine automatically starts, the 'Stop/Start' indicator goes out, the driver puts the vehicle into gear and drives off. Essentially, the driver does not need to perform any extra steps than in conventional car driving while the Stop/Start system reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.2 l/100 km in city driving.

Battery regeneration: Battery regeneration helps to utilise the energy expended in driving as efficiently as possible. During coasting and braking phases of the Passat Alltrack - i.e. whenever the driver releases the accelerator pedal or brakes - the system elevates the voltage of the alternator (generator), and this electricity is used to charge the vehicle's battery. Thanks to this alternator control as a function of engine efficiency and the fact that the battery is thus always optimally charged, the alternator's voltage can be reduced during other phases, e.g. during acceleration or when constantly maintaining a desired vehicle speed. It is even possible to shut off the alternator entirely. This reduces engine load, which in turn lowers fuel consumption. The optimally charged battery also supplies the onboard electrical system with sufficient energy whenever the engine is stopped (e.g. at a traffic light). Battery regeneration requires special software for the energy management system and modified engine controller software.

Two gearboxes, six forward gears, one or two clutches

The power of the TSI and TDI engines is transferred via a manual 6-speed gearbox or automatic 6-speed DSG. The DSG is one of the world's most technically advanced automatic gearboxes: lying at the heart of the 6-speed DSG is the dual clutch. It consists of two wet clutches. Clutch 1 handles the odd-numbered gears (plus R), while clutch 2 engages the even gears. The results of this complex clutch management: there are no interruptions in propulsive force. The system conveys an incomparably dynamic gear shifting feeling with optimal comfort and convenience.

All-wheel drive, XDS and Offroad Programme

The two top engines (170 PS TDI and 210 PS TSI) of the new Volkswagen Passat Alltrack are delivered with permanent 4MOTION all-wheel drive and the XDS electronic differential lock as standard. The innovative all-wheel drive is available as an option in the Passat Alltrack with a 140 PS TDI engine.

4MOTION all-wheel drive

In most driving situations, the front wheels are driven on the VW Passat Alltrack 4MOTION, with the rear wheels only getting 10 per cent of propulsive power. This saves on fuel. Not until necessary is the rear axle brought into play, step by step - based on the specific powertrain and road situation. This is done by an electrohydraulic all-wheel drive clutch. An advantage of electronic control is that no speed differences are needed between the front and rear axles to activate the all-wheel drive clutch, since system pressure is built up by an electric pump.

Multi-plate clutch in the rear differential

The multi-plate clutch system was integrated in the rear differential. The pressure reservoir is supplied with oil by an electric pump with a working pressure of 30 bar. An electronic control unit computes the ideal drive torque for the rear axle and regulates, via a valve, how much oil pressure is transferred to the working piston of the multi-plate clutch. Here, the surface pressure on the clutch plates is proportional to the torque desired at the rear axle. The amount of transferred torque may be continuously varied by altering the magnitude of the pressure applied to the clutch plates. The system operates independently of wheel slip, since the working pressure is always available. When the Passat Alltrack is driven off from a standstill or accelerated, wheelspin of the front wheels is fully prevented, since the control unit regulates the torque distribution based on dynamic axle loads. In extreme cases, nearly 100 per cent of the drive torque can be directed to the rear axle.

XDS electronic differential lock

At the front axle, the 170 PS TDI and 210 PS TSI have an XDS electronic differential lock, ensuring that the rubber stays on the tyres and does not end up on the road. XDS also improves handling properties. Technically, XDS is a functional extension of the electronic differential lock (EDS) that is integrated in the ESP system. As soon as the electronics detect that the driven front wheel on the inside of the curve is insufficiently loaded, the ESP hydraulic system builds up brake pressure specifically at this wheel to restore optimal traction. In this way, XDS acts as a transverse differential lock that compensates for understeering in fast driving through bends. XDS and 4MOTION complement one another, making driving behaviour even more precise and neutral. In offroad situations or on snow, the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack - equipped with all-wheel drive and 30 mm more ground clearance - is capable of performance that an SUV can hardly exceed.

Offroad Driving Programme

The offroad driving programme is included on all Alltrack versions. Volkswagen is implementing this multifunctional system in a passenger car for the first time in the Passat Alltrack (control range: up to maximum 30 km/h). The driver activates the programme by pressing the Offroad button on the centre console. An LED symbol in the instrument cluster indicates when the system is 'active'. Specifically, the settings for the safety and driver assistance systems and DSG control were modified as follows:

Safety systems

The anti-lock braking system (ABS) is now characterised by higher control interval thresholds; on loose road surfaces, such as gravel, a wedge of road substrate is formed in front of the tyres to decelerate the vehicle more effectively. At the same time, the electronic differential locks (EDS) react more quickly to prevent wheelspin at individual wheels. The engine's torque control (ASR) is modified in parallel.

Driver assistance systems

Hill Descent Assist is automatically activated at a descent angle greater than 10 degrees; the system brakes the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack. Meanwhile, functionality of the optional adaptive cruise control (ACC) and Front Assist are deactivated.

Dual clutch gearbox

A flatter accelerator pedal characteristic makes it easier to meter engine power in offroad situations. At the same time, gear shift points are raised, automatically giving the driver higher engine revs and therefore more power to work with. If the DSG selection lever is switched to the manual shift gate, the transmission no longer shifts up automatically. The Stop/Start system and freewheeling are also deactivated.

Running gear

In contrast to pure street versions, the new Passat Alltrack is equipped with running gear tuned for offroad use. Compared to the Passat with normal running gear, this version offers 30 mm more ground clearance. The wheel diameter was also increased by 26 mm. The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack is fitted with new 17-inch 'Valley' type alloy wheels as standard. Also available as an option are 18-inch 'Canyon' wheels - another new design.

ESP with trailer stabilisation

The Passat Alltrack, like all cars of the model series, defines an entirely new level of driving behaviour and comfort properties. Helping to ensure maximum comfort and optimal active safety are the four-link rear suspension, which is acoustically decoupled from the body by a subframe, the MacPherson strut-type front suspension that is designed with aluminium components, and the electromechanical servo steering. The running gear technology is perfected by the standard ESP and trailer stabilisation. Trailer stabilisation offers functionality that goes beyond familiar ESP functions; it contributes to early detection of trailer swaying and eliminates it by specific interventions of the braking system and engine.

Front running gear

The front suspension of the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack is based on the MacPherson principle with lower A-arms and struts. This running gear is extremely lightweight and so it offers numerous benefits. In the very rigid and crash-optimised chassis subframe alone, 4.5 kg of weight was cut compared to a conventional steel plate design. Also very lightweight are the forged aluminium transverse links. Here, the weight advantage compared to steel plate amounts to 4.2 kg.

Lightweight construction methods are especially beneficial when applied to unsprung masses. That is why, along with the transverse links, the pivot bearings are also made of aluminium. The total weight advantage here compared to steel plate is 3.2 kg. In all, the various lightweight construction methods applied to the front running gear yield a weight advantage of 13.3 kg. This results in better comfort, dynamic performance and fuel economy.

Four-link rear suspension

The four-link rear suspension of the Passat Alltrack is also very lightweight and offers maximum driving comfort and stability. The special layout of the links enables separate tuning of longitudinal and transverse dynamics. This functional partitioning guarantees optimal dynamic performance and vehicle safety on the one hand, while offering very impressive ride comfort on the other.

The four-link rear suspension consists of an isolated subframe, to which the upright is joined - via the spring suspension arm, track rod and transverse link - in an upward transverse direction. Longitudinal links handle wheel location in the longitudinal direction. At the rear axle, weight-optimised tube stabilisers are also used. A key factor contributing to the excellent comfort of the Passat Alltrack is the fact that the rear suspension is isolated from the body by subframes. This isolation is achieved by the use of four rubber-metal mounts. The rubber composition of the mounts was selected to fulfil special dynamic requirements during driving. The results: subframe isolation improves both acoustics and ride comfort, bringing the VW Passat Alltrack to the level of the luxury class.

Standard and optional features

Along with the offroad driving programme, modified running gear and body alterations, the Passat Alltrack is characterised by a series of special details. Its standard features were customised and tuned to the specific requirements of this Volkswagen and its offroad capability.

Exterior has rugged qualities

Exterior features include details such as the new 'Valley' 17-inch alloy wheels (new 'Canyon' 18-inch wheels are an option). The window surrounds, door mirror housings and radiator grille trim strips are styled in 'Matt chrome'. The standard roof rails are anodised silver in colour. Standard exterior features also include stainless steel look front and rear underbody guards, fog lights and chrome tailpipes.

Rugged-sophisticated interior

The interior is customised with stainless steel door sill plates with the 'ALLTRACK' signature, comfort seats (fabric covers) and inner lateral support panels in Alcantara (colour: 'Zabriskie black'), interior accents in 'Titan silver' (with 'ALLTRACK' signature on the ashtray cover), pedals in aluminium look and automatic climate control. Other 'ALLTRACK' signatures are found at the front and rear of the vehicle. On the screen of the instrument cluster, the new Passat also 'greets' its driver with the 'ALLTRACK' signature.

Safety features

Of course, the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack has such features as six airbags, daytime running lights and the ESP electronic stabilisation programme. Additional standard features: fatigue detection, tyre pressure monitoring indicator (the driver is alerted if a tyre loses air) and the trailer stabilisation and countersteering support functions integrated in the ESP programme. Effective: automatic hazard light activation under hard braking conditions. Ingenious: if the driver parks the Passat Alltrack and unbuckles their seat belt before the engine is shut off, the electronic parking brake is automatically activated, which prevents the Volkswagen from rolling unintentionally. Child-friendly: in parallel to the standard Isofix fittings for suitable child seats, the VW Passat Alltrack can also be ordered with two integrated child seats in the rear (for the outer seats).

Comfort and functionality

In the interior, standard features include various storage compartments (such as in the centre console and roofliner console) and the analogue clock on the dashboard. Other standard convenience features: automatic climate control, electro-mechanical steering assistance, electric windows front and rear, outside temperature indicator, electronic parking brake with auto-hold function and central locking (with wireless remote). There are also comfort seats in front with pockets on the backrests, manual lumbar supports and electric backrest adjustment (driver's side). A multifunction leather-trimmed steering wheel, leather-trimmed shift lever grip and fabric floor mats are also part of the standard specification. Practical: remote unlatching of the 1/3 to 2/3 split rear bench backrest.


Other standard Passat Alltrack features include the RCD 310 radio-CD system with dual digital tuners, MP3 replay function and 4 x 20 Watt audio output, the multimedia AUX-IN socket, automatic running lights, automatically dipping rear-view mirror, front and rear Park Pilot, safety-optimised head restraints with additional longitudinal adjustment and a rain sensor.

Optional features

Optional features allow owners to tailor the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack to their individual needs. Along with classic features such as leather trim, radio-navigation systems and telephone modules, these features also include a wide variety of assistance systems (see section on Driving and Assistance Systems) and a number of specific optional features that fit in particularly well with the character and duty conditions of the Passat Alltrack. An overview:

Variable cargo floor

The optional movable cargo floor can be shifted forwards or backwards variably within the area of the loading surface. This makes it easy to stow heavy objects directly behind the backrest of the rear seats. The cargo floor may be loaded with up to 100 kg in weight; it is also easy to remove completely with a simple hand pull. In addition, Volkswagen will also be offering a cargo space divider pack for the Passat Alltrack. This space divider is a cargo floor that can be set upright to artificially divide the cargo space so that smaller pieces of luggage do not slide around the boot. In front-wheel drive versions, the pack also includes storage bins in the spare wheel well for small items. In addition, a stainless steel load sill guard is part of the pack.

Swivelling towbar

The swivelling towbar is a familiar option that is now also being offered in the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack. The towbar is electrically unlatched by pressing a button integrated in the side trim of the boot. This causes it to travel out from its rest position, and then it is easy to swing it into its operating position with a press of the foot. The towbar unit is designed for loads of up to 2.2 metric tonnes

Panoramic sunroof

The panoramic sunroof of the Passat Alltrack is 300 per cent larger than a conventional sliding sunroof. The front section of the two-part sunroof extends past the B-pillars and can be electrically tilted or opened fully. Its heat insulating glass absorbs 99 per cent of incidental UV radiation. In addition, it is equipped with an electric sunshade.

Touring seats

The front climate seats of the Passat Alltrack are really a luxury-class feature; they are equipped with a massage function (driver's side) and seat heating. Active ventilation is also provided; several fans pump cooling air through small channels in the foam seat cushion and the selected seat cover material. The driver and front passenger can control this ventilation over three levels using a switch on the outer seat upholstery. Volkswagen also offers electric 12-way seat adjustment with memory function for the front seats as a separate option.

Ambience pack

Similar to the Volkswagen CC, ambience interior lighting is now also offered in the Passat Alltrack. Lighting strips are integrated in the accents of the doors. Their brightness can be continuously varied by the interior lighting control. The intensity of footwell lighting can be adjusted independently. The indirect ambience lighting produces a very pleasant atmosphere; subjectively, the interior is perceived as even larger. This illumination is offered as the ambience pack in conjunction with certain decor accents.

Climate comfort window

This type of window improves upon the standard production window that already has a layer of acoustic film. The climate comfort window has an IR coating to reflect the infrared component of sunlight. The climate-comfort window consists of a total of six layers and is about 4 mm thick. Specifics on its structure: a layer of outer clear glass (1.6 mm) is followed by a first PVB safety film (Polyvinylbutyral, or PVB, 0.33 mm thick), then a PVB acoustic film (0.1 mm), another PVB safety film (0.33 mm), and finally the IR coating and inner clear glass layer (1.6 mm). The highlight is that the silver layers of the IR coating reflect infrared light, thereby reducing heat build-up in the interior. The silver layer is electrically conductive as well, so it also acts as a windscreen heating element, making the usual heating wires unnecessary.

Ski and snowboard carrier

The Volkswagen Original locking ski and snowboard carrier lets users conveniently transport up to six pairs of skis or up to four snowboards on the vehicle roof. Incidentally, the carrier can be operated with thick winter gloves with its wide opening buttons. The practical pull-out function simplifies loading and unloading. Forming the basis for all carrier systems from Volkswagen Accessories are the cross bars on which, for example, a bicycle carrier or a practical roof box can also be mounted.

Partition screen

The Volkswagen Original partition screen for the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack keeps shopping items and luggage articles from becoming a hazard during abrupt braking, because it partitions the bootspace from the passenger compartment between the seat backrest and the roofliner. The durable, black powder coated steel mesh screen is easy to attach behind the rear bench seat without impairing functionality of the airbags. There is no need to drill extra holes.

Boot liner

A perfect match for the partition screen is the Volkswagen Original boot liner. The practical boot liner is washable, is not prone to slipping and is acid-resistant; its full-circumference wall, approx. 4 cm high, prevents liquids from running off onto the vehicle floor. This makes it quite easy to keep the boot clean.

Load sill guard

A protective strip with a sophisticated look - the perfectly fitting Volkswagen Original load sill guard made of plastic with a high-end stainless-steel look not only protects the bumper from scratches when loading and unloading the boot; it also makes it look even better! Adhesive makes mounting of the guard a simple and quick task.

Floor mats

With Volkswagen Original rubber floor mats, moisture and dirt can no longer take over the vehicle interior. They are manufactured for a perfect fit, do not slip and are easy to wash.

Assistance systems and vehicle dynamics systems

The Passat Alltrack is one of the top versions of an extremely successful model series. In keeping with this high positioning of the VW Passat Alltrack, the Volkswagen will launch with an abundance of technological innovations that just recently could only be found, if at all, in the luxury class. Some of the most significant systems are the standard fatigue detection, Front Assist with City Emergency Braking, traffic sign detection, Park Assist II, Light Assist and Dynamic Light Assist main beam control systems and the Lane Assist lane-keeping assistant combined with the Side Assist lane-changing assistant.

Fatigue detection

This system detects waning driver concentration and warns the driver with an acoustic signal lasting five seconds; a visual message also appears in the instrument cluster recommending that the driver take a break from driving. If the driver does not take a break within the next 15 minutes, the warning is repeated once. Background: 25 per cent of all accidents on the German Autobahn - especially on long and monotonous stretches - are attributable to overtiredness of the driver.

Fatigue detection counteracts this tendency. Right at the beginning of each car trip, the system analyses the driver's characteristic steering behaviour. The fatigue detection system then continually evaluates signals such as steering angle, use of the pedals and transverse acceleration. If monitored parameters indicate a deviation from the steering behaviour recorded at the beginning of the trip, then visual and acoustic warnings are produced. Independent of this monitoring, whenever the system is activated it recommends a driving break to the driver after four hours of continuous driving.

The assistance system does not warn in acute cases of 'microsleep'; rather, fatigue detection aims to detect phases of waning concentration even before this happens. Fatigue detection is included as standard in the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack.

Side Assist Plus including Lane Assist

Also making a significant contribution to improved safety is the optional combination of Side Assist Plus (lane-changing assistant) and Lane Assist (lane-keeping assistant). Compared to the individual systems - which can also be ordered separately - the combination of Side Assist and Lane Assist represents a functional extension and offers a significant gain in safety, due to its reliable and urgent warning if a specific hazard is detected.

Here is how the two assistance systems operate as separate systems: Side Assist makes the driver aware of vehicles located in the blind spot next to the Passat Alltrack or vehicles approaching from the rear by flashing LEDs in the door mirrors. Side Assist operates using radar sensors. Meanwhile, Lane Assist accesses signals from a camera; as soon as it becomes evident that the driver is leaving the driving lane or is driving over the lane markings without setting the direction indicator, Lane Assist countersteers.

Here is how the new systems operate together: Side Assist Plus including Lane Assist merges the two assistance systems. If another vehicle is located in a spot that is not visible to the driver during a lane change, the dual assistance system pack warns the Alltrack driver via a flashing signal of the LEDs in the right or left door mirrors as well as via a steering wheel vibration, and it simultaneously assists the driver with a corrective steering intervention. These steps are taken regardless of whether or not a direction indicator is set. The combination of these two systems can make an even more effective contribution towards avoiding collisions with other vehicles in the blind spot. However, the driver still assumes responsibility for the entire process.

ACC plus Front Assist with City Emergency Braking

Volkswagen designed City Emergency Braking as a functional extension of the automatic ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control) plus Front Assist system. The new system operates over a speed range of up to 30 km/h, and it automatically initiates hard braking if an imminent collision is detected. City Emergency Braking can reduce the severity of collisions in city driving or even avoid a collision entirely.

Front Assist becomes active at a vehicle speed of 30 km/h. This system, which is integrated in ACC, helps to avoid front-end collisions as an 'alert front passenger', even if ACC is turned off. It does this by continually monitoring the traffic situation over a speed range of 30 km/h to 200 km/h with its front radar, warning the driver of any critical situations. The system assists the driver even before a situation becomes critical. First, it preconditions the braking system and sensitises braking assistants. As the risk of front-end collision increases, visual and acoustic warnings are initiated, and the driver is alerted to a necessary intervention by a jolt of the brake pedal. If the driver reacts with braking that is too weak, the vehicle automatically builds up as much brake pressure as necessary to avoid a collision. If the driver does not apply the brakes at all after the warning pedal jolt, Front Assist brakes so that, under optimal conditions, the speed at impact is reduced.

Overall, automatic adaptive cruise control makes driving very comfortable and convenient. On an open road, ACC can theoretically accelerate the car to its top speed. If a slower vehicle appears in the car's own driving lane, the system automatically brakes to maintain the legally prescribed safe distance ahead. The driver can calibrate this distance over various levels within the legal range.

Traffic sign detection

When the system detects speed limit signs and no-passing zones via camera, up to three of these signs are shown on the instrument cluster display in front of the driver as well as in the navigation system display. The screen output shows all additional signage text (e.g. '10 pm - 6 am' or 'When wet'), and it is presented in a logical order. The immediately relevant traffic sign (e.g. '130' km/h) is always shown in the first position, while signs that are only conditionally valid (e.g. '80' km/h 'when wet') are shown in a secondary position. If the rain sensor of the VW Passat Alltrack detects that it has started to rain, the now relevant traffic sign with the added text 'when wet' is shifted to first position. The general rule, however, is that systems like traffic sign detection do not absolve drivers of their obligation to adjust their driving style and speed to the actual traffic conditions. The system also acquires no-passing signs and municipality entrance and exit signs, and it calls the driver's attention to country-specific maximum allowable speeds in cities.

Dynamic Light Assist plus LED daytime running lights

Dynamic Light Assist is a system for masking areas of the main beam and offers drivers a clear gain in convenience. This optional system (available only with bi-xenon headlights) makes manual headlight switching between dipped and main beam a thing of the past. At speeds over 65 km/h, the main beam is automatically activated, and it remains permanently active. Here is how it works: in conjunction with the camera integrated behind the windscreen, the main beam light modules of the bi-xenon headlights are individually dipped only in those areas in which the system has analysed potential glare to other vehicles. A masking aperture between the reflector with the xenon filament and the lens makes this function possible. In conjunction with intelligent, lateral swivelling of the entire module (via the cornering light function) and independent control of the left and right headlights, this additional aperture geometry is able to mask the light source. This prevents light glare to oncoming traffic or vehicles driving ahead.

Light Assist

For all Volkswagen Passat Alltrack versions with conventional halogen headlights, a simpler variant of automatic main beam control is available: Light Assist. This main beam assistant is also a camera-based system that analyses the light sources actually occurring in traffic and - based on its knowledge of a wide variety of traffic situations - it outputs a dipped beam or main beam command. The main beam is automatically activated or deactivated from speeds of 60 km/h; this system also offers considerable convenience and safety benefits.

Park Assist, Generation II

In contrast to first-generation systems, which only supported parking parallel to the carriageway, the latest parking assistant also assists in perpendicular parking - i.e. at right angles to the driving lane. The system is activated at speeds up to 40 km/h by pressing a button on the centre console. The driver indicates the side of the street for parking by activating the direction indicator. Park Assist finds a sufficiently large parking space using its 12 ultrasonic sensors (four front, four rear, two right, two left; range: 4.5 metres), and then assisted parking can begin. The driver engages reverse gear and then only needs to accelerate and brake: the Passat handles the steering. The driver is assisted by acoustic and visual cues on the multifunction display. In addition, this system can actively brake the car if a collision is about to occur. Nonetheless, the driver remains responsible for braking.

DCC adaptive chassis control

DCC adaptive chassis control offers three programmes: 'Normal', 'Sport' and 'Comfort'. These are selected by a button next to the gearshift lever. Crucial here is the fact that adaptive chassis control is constantly working to improve driving properties. This is because it continually adapts damping to road conditions and the driving situation. The system also reacts to acceleration, braking and steering inputs. The system resolves the apparent conflict of goals between tight, sporty tuning and a comfortable ride. The significantly enhanced comfort is perceptible to both driver and passengers.

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