The Volkswagen Golf is something of a sensible urban classic that few would regard as having any offroad credentials. That image may soon change as VW prepares the Golf Alltrack for its World premiere at the Paris Motor Show next month. Just as the Passat Alltrack took the Passat into off-roading, the Golf Alltrack is designed to do the same for the Golf by adding all-wheel drive, a new selection of engines and new body styling.
Based on the Golf Estate, the Alltrack looks as if it’s been working out a bit. It has up to 20 mm additional ground clearance, a harder, more pronounced profile, black wheel arch moldings, and low-profile split radiator grille and integral bumper that's sure to make it look like it means business as it comes up behind you.
Inside, Volkswagen is fitting the Golf Alltrack with a choice of four direct-injection, turbocharged four-cylinder engines; one petrol, three diesels with a six-speed direct-shift gearbox. These include the:
- 1.8 TSI with 180 PS: Offered for the first time for a Golf, this 1.8 liter, 180 bhp petrol engine has 280 Nm (206 ft-lb) of torque that does 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 7.8 seconds, has a top speed of 135 mph (217 km/h) and manages 41.5 mpg (5.6 L/100 km).
- 1.6 TDI with 110 PS: The lowest powered of the turbodiesel (TDI) common rail four-cylinder engines from the EA288 engine series that were introduced in the seventh-generation Golf, the 1.6 liter TDI pumps a respectable 110 bhp for a maximum torque of 250 Nm (184 ft-lb) . That means 0 to 62 mph in 12.1 seconds, a top speed of 116 mph (187 km/h), and fuel economy of 60.1 mpg (3.9 L/100 km).
- 2.0 TDI with 150 PS: The two-liter diesel has two balancer shafts and manages 150 bhp and 340 Nm (250 ft-lb) of torque. Acceleration is 0 to 62 mph in 8.9 seconds, top speed is 128 mph (205 km/h), and it sips through 57.6 mpg (4 L/100 km).
- 2.0 TDI with 184 PS: The other two-liter engine in the lineup, this one adds another 34 bhp for 184 with 380 Nm (280 ft-lb) of torque, and Volkswagen says its the most powerful ever in an Estate body. It does 0 to 62 in 7.8 seconds and 136 mph (218 km/h) with 55.4 mpg (4.2 L/100 km), and it can handle caravans weighing up to 2,000 kg (4,409 lb).
But the pièce de résistance of the Golf Alltrack is its 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive system. In normal conditions, it acts like a front wheel drive, but the rear wheel is engaged incrementally – sometimes for a fraction of a second – up to almost 100 percent torque as needed as a way to improve fuel economy.
Meanwhile, the electro-hydraulic Haldex-5 coupling anticipates slips and comes online before it occurs, and the XDS system aids steering by applying the brakes during turns to provide stability when going around curves. There’s also an "Offroad" driving profile that changes the accelerator’s function when driving on gravel and other surfaces and a hill descent function.
For the interior, Volkswagen has kitted out the Golf Alltrack with a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear shift lever along with bespoke seat covers bearing the Alltrack badge. There’s ambient lights marking the door trim, automatic climate control, and a Composition Touch infotainment system,
The Paris Motor Show runs October 2 to 19. Gizmag will be on the ground to bring you all the highlights.
The Golf Alltrack is scheduled to go on sale in Britain in the middle of next year.