Yes, a station wagon with locking differentials! We’re not talking about selectable Wrangler Rubicon style lockers – but electronic lockers that activate while in off-road mode is pretty badass for a station wagon. This once-for-Europe-only adventure wagon has some serious back country gear haulin’ potential – and it’s heading to the US.
Here’s what we know about the wagon so far – The AllTrack is the 4MOTION (AWD) version of the GolfWagen. It will add just under an inch of gound clearance, as well as black wheel arch molding – we all know that black fender moulding equals increased off road capability (see Jeep Renegade or Subaru XV Crosstrek) . When it arrives in 2016 as a 2017 model it will be equipped with the TSI gas engine and a DSG 6 speed automatic. I asked everyone with a VW shirt on about a TDI version and was continuously told that they could not confirm or deny the oil burner, but that the diesel will likely come if the gasser sells well. Michael Horn, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. said himself that the main reason this vehicle is even coming to North America is due to dealer and customer demands for an All-Terrain wagon. (The non-AWD GolfWagen is available with the TDI, as well as a 6 speed manual transmission.)
The Alltrack’s 4MOTION AWD system uses the latest generation Haldex-5 coupling, allowing a 50/50 torque split front to rear when slippage is detected. In addition to the Haldex coupling (center differential) which sends power front to back, the AllTrack’s electronic differential locks (EDL) in the front and rear axles will work with the stability control system to send power from left to right. Basically, the system is a step above the run of the mill all wheel drives we’ve been seeing in passenger cars today – how it measures up to Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD with X-Mode is yet to be determined.
I spent a good amount of time talking with the VW reps at the show about the capacities of the new vehicle – to be honest we were geeking out about how much outdoor adventure gear you could fit inside, and on top of this thing. Then I asked about towing – the rep grinned from ear to ear and said he wanted to show me something. I was informed that VW has never rated a Golf for towing in the US, but the European version of the Golf AllTrack could tow 1,000lbs with the integrated hitch. Which this show model was equipped with. He opened the hatch, pulled up on a handle, and out popped the hitch and ball. Check out the video below to see how this thing works.
We likely won’t see the integrated hitch in the US production model; but hopefully towing will at least match the Euro version’s half ton capacity. Keep an eye out for these in 2016 – and be sure to tell your local VW dealer that you’re waiting for the diesel.