What is it?
Officially still a concept, the production version of the CrossBlue isn’t set to appear until 2015 at the earliest, and it’s going to be three years at least before it makes its way to the UK.
Today, though, we get to sample what we can expect from the CrossBlue, with a drive of the very concept that raised eyebrows in Detroit back in January.
The CrossBlue has been conceived and constructed as a fully operational prototype, complete with a diesel-electric drivetrain and lithium ion battery pack. Yet despite the extensive engineering work that has gone into it, the concept isn’t quite road legal, so we’re driving it on an airstrip near Frankfurt in Germany. They’re not exactly the surroundings that VW had in mind when it was conceiving the big SUV, but the broad expanse of asphalt provides a good opportunity to manoeuvre it around without drawing attention from inquisitive onlookers.
Seeing it in daylight for the first time reinforces the view that the CrossBlue concept is very close to what we can expect to see in showrooms. Apart from a few detail features – headlight graphics, mirror housings, tail-light design – it looks ready for production. It’s big, too, riding on a lengthened and widened version of the steel monocoque MQB structure that is set to be used beneath the second-generation Tiguan, due in 2015.