According to Automotive News, Volkswagen Group of America plans to develop a rugged, all-wheel-drive wagon to rival the Subaru Outback.
VW, the largest carmaker in Europe has already approved the awd version of the redesigned Golf-based Jetta SportWagen, which is expected to hit the U.S. market by the end of 2014. According to anonymous sources VW plans to turn the awd model into a spin-off model, which will feature higher body cladding and ground clearance, just like the Passat Alltrack model that is already available in Europe .
In 2011 VW discontinued the Passat wagon in the US market when the Chattanooga-built Passat was launched in the United States. The fact that VW now aims to attract the Outback customers, might turn to be a challenge for the automaker.
The 2.5-liter engine, six-speed manual awd Outback starts at $23,495, compared with $21,390 for a 2.5-liter engine, five-speed manual front-wheel-drive Jetta SportWagen. Subaru’s best-selling vehicle in the US, the Outback, surpassed the SportWagen sales almost five times last year, selling 117,553 units.