A distinctive full-width grille with prominent horizontal elements and small LED headlights dominates up front, while the flanks receive added structure with more heavily flared wheel arches and a pair of deep swage lines across the doors. At the rear there’s a large tailgate with a heavily raked window and large spoiler element.
The aim with the new look, according to Bischoff, has been to make the Cross Coupé look less car-like and more like a dedicated SUV in its own right. “The new concept has acommanding presence," he said. "It is powerful with a look that could almost be described as aggressive.“
At 4847mm in length, 2030mm in width and 1736mm in height, the Cross Coupé GTE is some 52mm longer, 90mm wider and 26mm taller than the recently face-lifted Touareg, which is itself set to grow appreciably when a third-generation model is launched in 2017, according to well placed Volkswagen sources.
Underpinning the new Volkswagen concept is the latest version of the versatile MQB platform now used extensively across the German car maker’s line-up. No official chassis dimensions have been revealed, although the Cross Coupé GTE is thought to share the same 2980mm wheelbase as the earlier CrossBlue Coupé concept wheeled out at the Shanghai motor show in 2013, along with its 1709mm front and 1726mm rear tracks.
Inside, the new Volkswagen concept provides seating for up to five adults in a contemporarily styled cabin that boasts a further developed version of the clean and unadorned dashboard initially previewed on the CrossBlue Coupé concept.
As well as previewing the look of a five-seat sporting off-roader which Volkswagen plans to slot into its line-up alongside a production version of the more practical seven-seat Cross Blue concept, the Cross Coupé GTE also showcases a new plug-in hybrid drivetrain set to be used by the German car maker in a range of mid to large size models in coming years.
The petrol-electric system is based around a transversely mounted 3.6-litre V6 and two electric motors, one of which is mounted up front eith the other sited at the rear. The petrol engine delivers 276bhp and 258lb ft, while the synchronous electric motors provide 54bhp and 162lb ft at the front and 114bhp and 199lb ft at the rear.
All up, the new drivetrain offers combined outputs of 355bhp and 369lb ft, which is the maximum permitted by the four-wheel-drive Cross Coupé GTE’s gearbox. This is sufficient, according to Volkswagen’s own figures, to provide it with a 0-62mph time of 6.0sec together with a 130mph top speed.
Energy for the electric motors is provided by a 14.1kWh lithium ion battery housed within the centre tunnel. It endows the high riding off-roader with a claimed zero-emission electric range of up to 20 miles in E-mode.
Drive is channelled through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with the ability to provide either front, rear or four-wheel drive and five different driving modes: E-mode, Hybrid, GTE, Off-road and Battery Hold/Battery Charge, the latter of which allows the driver to use the combustion engine to provide electric charge to the battery in a range-extender function.
The new Volkswagen concept also possesses four so-called driving profiles: On-road (with the sub-modes Comfort and Eco), Off-road (with sub-modes Rocks, Sludge and Sand, and Grave), Sport and Snow.
Along with the advanced hybrid drivetrain, Volkswagen hints the production version of the Cross Coupé will offer a choice of more conventional four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel powerplants.
Production of the new SUV is planned to take place alongside the US-market Passat at Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, while insiders hint it may also be assembled at a factory in Shanghai, China.
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