The VW Passat crossover may be based on its Passat Wagen model.
A need for more family-friendly SUVs will bring a Passat-based crossover wagon into the VW lineup in 2012.
The newcomer will be revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show in less than a month - possibly wearing a CrossTrak badge - on the home ground of its target, the Subaru Outback.
Subaru has been a consistent winner with its high-rider Outback and Forester wagons and Volkswagen is going down the same track, says a German insider at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
He promises a vehicle that is also similar in style to the latest Skoda Yeti from Volkswagen Group, as Volkswagen continues work on a series of crossover cars based on the Up and Polo.
Volkswagen will have a couple of big advantages over Subaru with its newcomer, as it has an automatic transmission to trump its rival's CVT system and can also supply a diesel engine with more than just the manual shift in the Outback. It could also, at least potentially, have more cabin space and standard luxury.
But Volkswagen is unlikely to challenge the pricetag of the Outback, which starts at $38,490 with a 2.5-litre petrol engine. Its starting sticker is likely to be in the mid-$40,000 range, rising sharply to $60,000 for a fully-equipped car.