Volkswagen has unveiled its new CrossBlue SUV concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
If the CrossBlue were to go into production, it would sit above the Tiguan and below the Touareg in the Volkswagen SUV line-up.
The CrossBlue features a plug-in hybrid powertrain that combines a TDI engine with two electric motors, a DSG transmission, and an electric all-wheel-drive system dubbed "propshaft by wire", and offers economy of 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres.
Painted in "CrossBlue Glass Flake", the concept is 4987mm long, 2015mm wide, and 1733mm high. A wide track of 1686 mm (front) and 1696 mm (rear) give it a confident stance on the road, as do 21-inch alloy wheels shod with 235/45 tyres, and flared wheelarches. Contrasting with the body colour is a stainless-steel trim that runs all around the SUV's lower section.
The CrossBlue has two "fuel doors": one for the diesel tank on the passenger side, and one covering two electrical sockets on the driver's side. The first socket is to charge the lithium-ion battery and the second can be used to connect electrical devices.
While the CrossBlue concept car is equipped with six individual seats in three rows, in a production version, the second row would have the option of three seats to make it a full seven-seater. Convenient access to the rear seats is assured by sliding second-row seats that can be managed with a single hand-movement.
Behind the third seating row is a cargo area of 335 litres. With the third row folded, cargo capacity grows to 815 litres and load length to 1387mm, figures that increase to nearly 2000 litres and 2230 mm with the middle row stowed. A forward-folding front passenger seat makes for a maximum 3110mm load length.
As soon as the driver starts the CrossBlue, controls for the lights, climate control and four-wheel-drive system emerge from their flush resting positions. The controls have aluminium surrounds: aluminium is one of the predominant interior materials, along with leather and dark-stained banana tree wood accents. In the centre console is a 10.2-inch touchscreen, while there is an Apple iPad Mini in the back of each front head-restraint.
As well as excellent fuel economy, the CrossBlue has impressive performance from a powertrain that produces up to 225kW and 700Nm. The 0-100km/h time is estimated to take about seven seconds. The CrossBlue runs in zero emissions mode at the press of a button or automatically. With a fully charged battery, the CrossBlue can travel up 33km using the European driving cycle. It has a potential range of 1064km from a combination of the 70-litre fuel tank and battery power.
The CrossBlue is based on Volkswagen's new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) components set. Its TDI diesel engine is from the new EA288 family, matched to a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. The 9.8 kWh lithium-ion battery lies in the vehicle's centre tunnel, and powers 40kW front and 85kW rear electric motors. The Cross Coupé concept first shown in 2011, and also on display in Detroit, uses a similar powertrain concept, showing the possibilities of the MQB platform.
The TDI engine produces 400Nm from just 1750rpm, while the electric motors produce their torque - 180Nm at the front and 270Nm at the rear - immediately. Combined, the system can produce up to 700Nm.