At last year's New York Auto Show, Volkswagen unveiled a more rugged, all-wheel-drive version of its Golf SportWagen called the Alltrack.

VW said at the time that the Alltrack would go into production, but it didn't say how long buyers would have to wait.

Now the 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack will debut at this week's 2016 New York Auto Show, and it'll go on sale this fall.

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The Alltrack is essentially a Golf SportWagen with all-wheel drive and a raised ride height (it rides 1 inch higher than a standard SportWagen).

It also gets some exterior body cladding for a more rugged look.

These styling elements combine with the all-wheel drive to make a vehicle intended to serve as a substitute for a crossover.

2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

It's a formula that has worked extremely well for Subaru for many years, so perhaps it will let VW change the SportWagen from a low-volume wagon into an SUV as well.

The 2017 Golf Alltrack will get a single engine option for the U.S. It's the same 1.8-liter 4-cylinder also used in the Golf.

It produces 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque, and will be offered with 6-speed manual or dual-clutch automatic transmissions.

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Only the dual-clutch transmission will be available at launch, Volkswagen notes.

Official EPA fuel-economy ratings won't be available until closer to the Alltrack's on-sale date.

The all-wheel drive system only sends power to the front wheels under most conditions, to maximize fuel economy.

2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

If more traction is needed, up to 50 percent of power can also be sent to the rear wheels.

One more feature specific to the Alltrack is a drive-mode selector that includes a mode for off-road driving.

The Alltrack still won't be able to match the off-road capability of a traditional SUV—it's what Europeans sometimes call a "soft-roader."

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Its hill-descent control and off-road-optimized traction control, however, should help when negotiating dirt roads, muddy playing fields, and the like.

Volkswagen hasn't released pricing yet, but expect the Alltrack to command a slight premium over the Golf SportWagen, which starts at $22,445 (including destination).

For more New York Auto Show introductions and show cars, see our auto show news hub.


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