Volkswagen shows its rugged side with the 2016 Golf SportWagen Alltrack

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Continuing its station wagon offensive, Volkswagen has introduced the rugged-looking 2016 Golf SportWagen Alltrack ahead of its public debut at this year’s New York Motor Show.

As its name implies, the Alltrack is an off-road-focused version of the Golf SportWagen that went on sale across the nation a couple of weeks ago. It stands out from its regular-production counterpart thanks to new bumpers with decorative Reflex Silver inserts, plastic trim over the wheel arches and on the rocker panels, honeycomb inserts in the radiator grille and Alltrack-specific 17-inch alloy wheels. Overall, the Golf Alltrack is noticeably inspired by Audi’s popular breed of allroad station wagons.

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Volkswagen promises the Alltrack boasts a more upscale interior than the standard SportWagen. Expect the wagon to offer a generous list of standard features including a leather-upholstered multi-function steering wheel, a touch screen-based infotainment system as well as model-specific trim on the center console and the dashboard.

The modifications aren’t merely aesthetic. In addition to sitting nearly an inch higher than the standard SportWagen, the Alltrack comes standard with the latest generation of Volkswagen’s time-tested 4Motion all-wheel drive system that features a Haldex-5 coupling. The wagon is powered exclusively by the front wheels in normal driving conditions, a setup that markedly improves gas mileage. However, up to 50-percent of the engine’s torque can be transferred to the rear axle in the blink of an eye if the 4Motion system detects that one of the front wheels is losing traction.

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Volkswagen is keeping additional technical details under wraps for the time being so we can’t tell you what engines and transmissions the Alltrack is available with. The regular SportWagen offers a 1.8-liter gasoline-burning turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 170 horsepower and a 150-horsepower TDI turbodiesel mill.

The 2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Alltrack will go on sale in the coming months, and the first cars will be delivered early next year. Volkswagen has not announced how much of a premium the Alltrack will carry over the stsandard SportWagen.

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