VW could sell CrossBlue as complement for Touareg in Europe

Article by Anita Panait, on November 25, 2013

Volkswagen could sell its CrossBlue mid-sized sports utility vehicle in Europe as a complement for the Touareg SUV already sold in the region. The CrossBlue-Touareg relationship could work in the same way that the sporty BMW X6 complements the traditionally styled X5. VW showcased the four-seat CrossBlue Coupe concept this week at the Los Angeles auto show, after unveiling it at the Shanghai auto show in April.

VW unveiled a seven-seat CrossBlue concept at the Detroit auto show in January. A VW spokesman told Automotive News Europe that a production CrossBlue could be available in Europe, noting that a decision has yet to be taken. VW of North America disclosed that it will decide by the end of 2013 if it will produce the CrossBlue and where it would be built.

The German carmaker is expected to introduce the seven-seat CrossBlue in 2016. This is considered as crucial for the United States as its sales in this country have been on a slump.

VW brand is targeting to sell 800,000 units annually in the US by 2018. However, its volume in the first 10 months of 2013 dropped 4 percent to 343,000 units in the US, where the carmakers as whole posted an 8-percent surge in sales to 13 million units. VW may build the production CrossBlue on a new assembly line in Chattanooga, Tennessee, or in Mexico.

The CrossBlue Concept is clearly a Volkswagen design for the U.S. market. That it has a highly masculine image is not in question and this is highlighted by the dominant track widths and the dynamic proportions which show large wheels with the wide and long hood. Painted in what is known as “CrossBlue Glass Flake,” this model has an overall length at 4,987 mm, total width of 2,015 mm, with height of 1,733 mm.

Track widths are large with the front measuring 1,686 mm and the rear at 1,696 mm. Combining this with the alloy 21-inch wheels, one with a new design at that, plus the flared wheel arches gives this concept car a stance on the road that is truly more confident. The wheels are fitted with the 285/45 tires. The extended and long side profile shows a body trim that goes all through the lower section of the body.

By giving the trim that stainless steel look, it provides a contrast to the body’s exterior paint. Volkswagen said that the design of the CrossBlue’s exterior was performed by a team headed by Marc Lichte. The main features of the exterior design include the long roof line and the rather short overhang on the front. There is also the long and more pronounced long hood with air inlets integrated to it.

Looking at the silhouette, it is clear that is slightly goes up to the rear section. Strengthening this visual feel is the character line which begins at the headlights and slowly becomes wider as it nears the rear before ending at the taillights. On top of this character line is a precise style line that terminates the row of side windows, a feature that is standard in a Volkswagen model.

The windows themselves are bordered with a solid aluminum frame. Volkswagen revealed that the design of the CrossBlue was done under the leadership of Volkswagen Group Head of Design Walter de Silva working with Volkswagen Brand Head of Design Klaus Bischoff. The brand did make it clear though that the two worked in partnership with Volkswagen of America.

This collaboration resulted in a design that made use of the clean lines present in the brand’s design DNA and mix it with the masculine qualities seen in an American SUV. Thus even if this model remains to be a concept car, it is still one that is truly genuine. Further, it is not dependent on show effects but rather reveals the near-production appearance of what may be a new SUV model range from the brand.

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Topics: vw, vw touareg, suv

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