Volkswagen is working to bring the new Golf SportWagen AllTrack to the U.S. market. Notably, the Golf AllTrack will be the first wagon in the mainstream (non-luxury) segment in the United States to have all-wheel drive (Subaru Impreza excluded, since it is technically a hatchback). Here’s a look at how the Volkswagen AWD system works and what it’s capable of.
The 4MOTION system, Volkswagen speak for all-wheel drive, in the Golf SportWagen AllTrack uses the latest generation Haldex-5 coupling. The coupling is activated via an electro-hydraulic oil pump.
In normal driving, the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Alltrack acts like a front-wheel-drive car in order to deliver better fuel economy. But as soon as the system detects wheel slip, up to 50 percent of the drive torque can be shipped to the rear wheels.
In addition to the Haldex coupling that works longitudinally (front to back), electronic differential locks (EDL) at the front and rear axles act laterally in concert with the electronic stability control system. In effect, the system briefly brakes a wheel that is slipping, thereby enablng uninterrupted and stable transfer of drive power to the wheel on the opposite side.
Combined with the higher ground clearance, the capability of the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system helps to give the newest Golf SportWagen the off-road capability and load-carrying capacity of a compact SUV, but with the on-road manners and fuel economy of a compact wagon. Sounds like a win-win to us.