If my memory and math are accurate, this would be the third version of the long-awaited mid-size SUV from Volkswagen. Right now Volkswagen offers the entry level Tiguan and the Premium Touareg with nothing in the middle. The five and seven seat Cross Blue is designed to fill in this huge void in the SUV lineup and is designed with the American consumers in mind, like the current Passat, which is specifically built for the American consumers.
At last year’s Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen unveiled the Cross Blue concept, which featured seating for seven and was powered by a traditional gasoline V6 engine, which sent power to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Later in November at the 2014 Los Angeles International Auto Show, Volkswagen debuted the Cross Blue Coupe Concept, which was a shorter version of the original Cross Blue and has seating for five people. Last week at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen unveiled the Cross Coupe GTE Concept, which combined a gasoline V6 engine with two electric motors. This drivetrain combination is good for 355 horsepower and has an estimated rating of 70 mpg-e.
The interior of the new Cross Coupe GTE is based on the new Bauhaus design theme, which features a wide dashboard and gives the interior a wider feel than it actually is. Also, Volkswagen will implement gesture recognition technology into the Cross Blue, which was recently debuted at the 2015 Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas in the Volkswagen Golf R touch.
The Cross Blue SUVs are based on Volkswagen’s new and flexible modular chassis, which enables the company to build numerous variants of a particular model on a single chassis, thus significantly reducing the manufacturing costs.
In electric mode, the Cross Coupe GTE can travel up to an estimated 20 miles on full charge. When the battery is completely drained, it can be recharged with the engine while driving or through a plug-in port when parked. The Cross Blue GTE Coupe is all-wheel-drive, but in this setup, the gas V6 powers the front wheels while the two electric motors power the rear wheels. Under heavy acceleration, both the engine and electric motors join forces to propel the SUV forward.
Unlike the Touareg, which is a proper offroader, the Cross Blue SUV is designed more for on road driving (where most of the SUVs spend majority of time anyways) and has enough offroading capability to climb over the McDonald’s drive-thru without damaging the undercarriage or the occupants’s spine.
Based on the information available from Volkswagen, the Cross Blue family of SUVs are set to launch in early 2016. As of this writing, Volkswagen officials have not announced any pricing information on this new mid-size family SUV, but we will update you with any information as it becomes available.