Station wagons still get enthusiasts and motoring journalists excited, even those of us that grew up in faux-paneled family wagons and couldn’t imagine ever owning one back then. Volkswagen of America has enjoyed recent sales success with its Jetta SportWagen (particularly in TDI spec) and is now dipping its toes further in the water.
Later this week at the New York Auto Show, VW will unveil the Alltrack Concept, a de-badged version of the European-only Passat Alltrack shown in Geneva earlier this year, to gauge reaction on this side of the pond. Here’s a breakdown of what VWoA might be up to, according to kilometer editor and founder of VWvortex.com, Jamie Vondruska.
Volkswagen has made it clear that the European B7 Passat wagon won’t be offered in the U.S. The reason? The cost to certify a German-built Passat for sale in this market, given the unfavorable exchange rate and the generally low sales volume of station wagons here. In other words the business case is thin. VW has, however, made it clear that it wants to try and source as many models as possible from its North American factories. So that leaves our U.S.-built, U.S.-specific Passat and the Mexico-built Jetta Sportwagen as possible bases on which to build an Alltrack.
VW said in the past that there were no plans to build a wagon variant based on the U.S.-spec Passat., so we suppose it is possible that VWoA could build a Jetta Sportwagen Alltrack in the future. Considering the current Sportwagen’s life cycle, that would likely mean its successor. One potential monkey wrench, however, is the lack of 4motion production in the Puebla, Mexico plant. If VW made the investment in setting Puebla up for all-wheel-drive, it could then support additional 4motion versions of North American-built cars (like the Passat and Jetta).
We’d love to see an AWD Alltrack Sportwagen with an available TDI option, as we suspect many VW enthusiasts would. Lots of speculation here and no concrete answers from VW at this point. Keep your fingers crossed.