Volkswagen is preparing to launch a Range Rover Evoque rival within the next three years, with the style-led SUV’s looks shown by the Cross Coupé concept unveiled at the Tokyo show. The compact SUV concept, which sits on the same platform as the next Audi A3 and VW Golf, was described by VW R&D boss Ulrich Hackenberg as “testing reaction” to the car.
“We think the SUV segment will grow, and the number of SUV variants will grow,” he said. “Customers are showing that they like SUVs with a sporty, muscular image, and especially because of the high seating position.” However, he conceded the car’s radical interior was less likely to make production than the exterior styling.
Hackenberg added the Cross Coupé would spawn several variants if it made production, including a more sporty three-door version. He also said the concept’s hybrid four-wheel drive system could make production in the longer term.
The system has an electric motor on each axle, giving the car four-wheel drive capability and a 24-mile electric range. Linked to a 1.4-litre petrol engine and seven-speed DSG gearbox, it is said to return a combined average of 104mpg with CO2 emissions of 65g/km.
Design boss Klaus Bischoff also confirmed that the Cross Coupé’s styling previewed VW’s future SUVs. In particular, the front-end treatment is expected to influence the new Tiguan. That range is also likely to include a new seven-seat SUV targeted at the US market. “The US needs such a car, as parents don’t always want to drive MPVs around when they need to transport their children,” said Hackenberg.