The Alltrack sits on a raised suspension setup that increases ground clearance from 135 to 165mm (48mm down on the very tall Outback), and the new bumpers give the wagon improved approach angles: 13.5 up to 16 degrees at the front and 11.9 up to 13.6 degrees at the rear.
Other features setting the Passat Alltrack apart from the regular Passat Estate are rugged plastic side sills and wheel guards, and unique colour and trim options in the cabin.
Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is the big feature, matched as standard to the top-spec diesel and petrol engines and available as an option for the lower-powered engines.
As it does with the Tiguan SUV, the on-demand 4Motion system sends most of the engine's power to the front wheels under normal use, but, when needed, it can direct every drop to the rear.
In Off-Road mode, the 4Motion system offers Hill Descent Assist at speeds up to 30km/h, along with enhanced opertion of the ABS and electronic differential locks.
In Europe, the Passat Alltrack will be offered with a pair of 120 and 156kW direct-injected petrol engines, and two 104 and 126kW turbodiesel options.
Volkswagen Australia has confirmed a 2012 local debut for the Passat Alltrack, although exact timing is still to be confirmed.