2013 NAIAS: Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept
Volkswagen is not new to the SUV and crossover market. Having offered a relatively large Toureg since 2002 and the small Tiguan since 2007 it is somewhat surprising that VW has never offered a three row crossover under its people’s car brand. In an attempt to remedy this shortcoming VW unveiled the six-passenger CrossBlue concept. Looking alarmingly similar to Jeep’s Grand Cherokee, executives assured that the CrossBlue concept could easily be predictive of a future production model. They also assured that the future model would offer seven passenger seating replacing the concept’s middle row captain’s chairs with a bench seat. The CrossBlue is equipped with a diesel engine mated to two electric motors, a dual-clutch automatic transmission, and an electric all-wheel-drive system. VW estimates 89 mpge in combined electric mode and 35 mpg as a hybrid. This powertrain produces up to 305 horsepower and an stump-pulling 516 pound-feet of torque. At 196.3 inches long and 79.3 inches wide, VW calls this concept a midsize crossover and expects that a production version would slot between the Tiguan and Toureg in its lineup. This is a curious assessment since the Toureg only seats five and stretches about 189 inches long. Whatever the logic, we say Volkswagen has everything to gain by finally entering the seven passenger crossover segment.
Photos by Jason Muxlow