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 |  Apr 05 2012, 1:01 PM

At least that’s the case in the U.S. In Europe a production version of this wagon has been on sale for several months, but despite being on display at this year’s New York Auto Show, the official line from Volkswagen was  just a study designed to gauge public reaction.

However, given the success of vehicles like Subaru’s Legacy Outback here and even Audi’s AllRoad, it seems like a no-brainer to us for a North American version to be made available to dealers.

However, the powertrain may be of some concern in the American market. The European car is offered with a choice of 2.0-liter diesels (the concept in NY sports the 140 hp version) though making that marketable here would probably require a gas option.

That said, a combination of 4Motion all-wheel drive, raised ride height, electronic locking differentials and decent cargo capacity are bound to strike a chord with a healthy portion of North American vehicle shoppers. We’ll see if VW has anything else to say about it once New York show wraps up.

GALLERY: Volkswagen Passat AllTrack concept

Passat-Alltrack-Concept-03.JPGPassat-Alltrack-Concept-01.JPGPassat-Alltrack-Concept-04.JPGPassat-Alltrack-Concept-02.JPGPassat-Alltrack-Concept-05.JPGPassat-Alltrack-Concept-17.JPG

 |  Dec 01 2011, 2:33 AM

VW Passat Alltrack 05.JPG

As expected, Volkswagen debuted the Passat Alltrack at the Tokyo Motor Show and it was pretty much everything we expected it to be – a high-riding variant of the Passat wagon that’s offered in Europe. We have to admit we found it a little peculiar that VW would debut the Passat Alltrack in Japan but nonetheless, it got some attention on the show floor.

Featuring Volkswagen’s 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system, the Passat Alltrack will be introduced to the European market with two choices of 2.0L TDI powerplants. The exterior features flared fenders with a stainless-steel looking front bumper garnish and some matte-chrome accents. And for those wondering just how high-riding this Passat Alltrack is, its ground clearance has increase from 5.3-inches to 6.5-inches from the standard Passat wagon.

Take it as Volkswagen trying to mix a little of station wagon with SUV versatility, or something like that. It’s also worth mentioning that the Alltrack has the same off-road driving program seen on VW’s Touareg and Tiguan, which revises the vehicle’s ABS, electronic differential lock, throttle control and shift points to maximize traction. Hill descent is automatically turned on when grades are steeper than 10-percent.

Americans will probably never see the Alltrack stateside since VW wholeheartedly believes we’d choose an SUV over a wagon any day of the week. Guess they’re pretty spot on there.

GALLERY: Volkswagen Passat Alltrack

VW Passat Alltrack 07.JPGVW Passat Alltrack 03.JPGVW Passat Alltrack 06.JPGVW Passat Alltrack 04.JPGVW Passat Alltrack 01.JPGVW Passat Alltrack 05.JPG