The Volkswagen CrossBlue: An SUV With 7 Seats For The U.S. Market
|   Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Americans have always been sensitized of large, comfortable and spacious vehicles. This year, Volkswagen is thought to be a joy, presenting the CrossBlue prototype at the Detroit Auto Show. Launched at NAIAS (North American International Auto Show), the concept is not far from the serial version, with carefully studied proportions and strong angular lines that inspire robustness.

The basis of the new seven-seater SUV will stay comfortable on the elongated version of the new MQB modular platform, the same sophisticated technical architecture, and highly malleable too, used in various wheelbases across most future models of VW's portfolio.


From a commercial point of view, the model will be positioned between the Tiguan and Touareg, but the generous exterior dimensions, especially the length of 4.98 m, slightly atypically places the CrossBlue over its more expensive brother, which is shorter by 20 cm (4.79 m). The width and height of the concept presented in Detroit are also not negligible, measuring 2014 mm and 1732 mm.

Propulsion is provided by a hybrid system consisting of a TDI Clean Diesel of 190 horses and two electric motors of 54 and 114 horsepower, mounted on each of the two axles and powered by a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 9.8 kWh. Total power provided by this ensemble can reach a peak of 305 hp, enough to allow it to touch a maximum speed of 204 km/h. In electric-only driving mode, the autonomy is up to 22 km, but the CrossBlue can travel 1064 kilometers with a full fuel tank.

The production version of the CrossBlue model will be built at the brand's Chattanooga plant in the US alongside the next-generation Passat, due in 2015. It would be based off Volkswagen's new modular platform, known as MQB, which will underpin everything from the miniature-by-comparison Polo to the chunky 4.98m high-rider, which is expected to be offered with a choice of six or seven seats.

Volkswagen board member for product development, Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, said at the Detroit Motor Show that although the car has been engineered and designed for left-hand-drive markets, it could be possible to offer a right-hand-drive version in the future if there was enough demand for such a vehicle.

Hackenberg also discussed the brand's plans for other SUV models, saying that a crossover smaller than the Tiguan is not far away.
"Volkswagen is not usually the first [to launch a product into an emerging segment], but when Volkswagen comes, it will have a good performance," Hackenberg said for Drive, referring to rivals like the Ford EcoSport or the Holden Trax or the more recent Renault Captur.

Another possibility in the soft-roader segment for VW is a production version of the CrossCoupe. That concept was revealed in 2011 in a petrol-electric hybrid guise and it was revised in 2012 with an ultra-efficient diesel-electric hybrid drivetrain.

The production version will debut in 2014 and will have no European correspondent; it is designed exclusively for markets in the United States and Canada.
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