As you may know already, Volkswagen will start production of its seven-seater mid-size SUV in Chattanooga, Tennessee at the end of 2016, but until this model arrives, the German manufacturer revealed a new concept that previews the upcoming vehicle. Dubbed VW Cross Coupe GTE Concept, the new crossover was showed at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) and according to the chief designer at VW it is the ambassador of a new design language developed for the United States.
Wearing a Grand Pacific Glacier blue finish, the Cross Coupe GTE features a clear and logical line structure. As you can see form the photos, the headlights, turn signals and radiator grille merge together, while the two aluminum bars form the basic structure of the radiator grille.
Moreover, the design of the lower air inlet is as striking as that of the radiator grille. Seen from the side, the A-pillar is set a long way back, while the sloped C-pillar gives the design a sporty yet rugged appearance. At the rear we find trapezoidal LED taillights as well as a skidplate with an integrated diffuser that forms the major design element at the back.
Inside, the In Blue Nappa leather matches the Grand Pacific Glacier exterior paintwork, while the classic instrument cluster was replaced by a 12.3-inch instrumentation screen. Moreover, the dash features a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen, integrated in the middle of the control panel and framed by two sets of vertical air vents.
Under the hood, there is a 3.6-liter VR6 petrol engine as well as two electric motors. The six-cylinder direct-injection engine (FSI) generates 276 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque, while the electric motor produce 54 hp and 162 lb-ft (front) and 114 hp and 199 lb-ft (rear). In addition, there is a compact lithium-ion battery located in the center tunnel, rated at 14.1 kWh.
The total output delivered by the system is 355 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to push the vehicle from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 6.0 seconds and offer a top speed of 130 mph or 210 km/h.
Cross Coupe GT offers dive driving modes – E-Mode, Hybrid, GTE, Off-road and Battery Hold / Battery Charge – as well as a number of driving profiles: On-road (with Comfort and Eco sub-modes), Off-road (with Rocks, Sludge & Sand and Gravel), Sport and Snow.
Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE allows the driver to choose from different driving profiles: Onroad, Offroad, Sport and Snow. The Onroad mode comes with two sub-modes (Comfort and Eco) while the Offroad profile has three (Rocks, Sludge & Sand and Gravel).
Befitting the status of the Cross Coupe GTE as a midsize SUV coupe is the Offroad drive mode that allows power to be sent to all four wheels. Once the Offroad mode is engaged and the battery charge is low, the front electric motor solely acts as a generator as driven by the V6 FSI engine, thereby providing the needed power to the rear electric motor. As power is sent to the rear axle not mechanically but by wire, it is called as an 'electric cardan shaft'.
Since the V6 FSI engine drives the rear electric motor through the front electric motor in Offroad mode, the Cross Coupe GTE could be engaged as an all-wheel drive even when the charge of the battery is low.
Meanwhile, the design of the cockpit demonstrates the high-tech nature of its engine and drivetrain, as evident on the horizontal lines and clear digital controls with intuitive operation. The new Cross Coupe GTE is equipped with a 10.1-inch touchscreen that controls the new infotainment system, while a 12.3-inch Active Info Display allows for the emphasis of all details through a high-quality interactive graphic in the digital dashboard.
The front cabin of the Cross Coupe GTE is fitted with sports seats while the rear cabin compartment comes with a three-seat bench that can be folded 1/3 or 2/3 to create a continuous flat cargo floor.