A production version of the Volkswagen CrossBlue concept has been confirmed, and will enter the US market in 2016.
The new SUV, which won't retain its CrossBlue name for production, will likely be introduced at the Detroit motor show next year. The seven-seat SUV will become the largest vehicle to sit on VW's MQB platform, a feat made possible thanks to the car's transversally mounted engines. While a range of power options are likely, sources suggest the production version will use a 187bhp 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine, possibly featuring hybrid drive.
A pre-production prototype driven by Autocar featured that engine in conjunction with two electric motors, pushing the combined power output to 302bhp.
The car will also be used as the basis for the next Volkswagen Tiguan, and will be built in the US alongside the US-market Passat. While Volkswagen hasn't confirmed the model as coming to Europe, sources have said that any European launch would take place at least three years after its US introduction.
Previous reports have suggested the car will cost from £19,800 ($32,000) in the US.
Alongside the confirmation, VW Group also announced it has set a new sales record in 2013, with full-year deliveries topping 9.7 million units. While overall sales in Central and Eastern Europe were down on the previous year - 636,500 compared to 644,300 in 2012 - strong growth in Asian markets meant the group recorded its increase.
Among individual brands, VW itself recorded an increase in volumes of 3.4 per cent, delivering 5.93 million vehicles worldwide. Of those, 560,100 were delivered within its home market of Germany. Elsewhere, Audi continued to grow with a sales increase of 8.3 per cent worldwide, while Seat recorded a 10.6 per cent increase.
In particular, Seat has grown well in the UK market, increasing its deliveries by 17 per cent on 2012 with 45,700 units delivered in the UK alone.
Volkswagen also confirmed it will be investing over $7 billion in its North American operations over the next five years, as part of the Group's plans to sell one million VW and Audi vehicles in the US annually by 2016.