… but it’s not coming to SA. Could we do with another bakkie-based, seven-seater SUV?
Volkswagen has presented a concept of its next SUV at the Detroit motor show. It’s called CrossBlue, is meant to fill the gap between Tiguan and Touareg, but its production version will ostensibly not make it to SA.
Crossblue was conceptualised as a new SUV specifically for the US and Canada where Europe’s largest carmaker is hoping to make inroads.
According to VW, the concept features one of the most innovative plug-in hybrid systems developed yet, combining Clean Diesel technology, two electric motors, a dual-clutch transmission and ‘propshaft by wire’. Based on the carmaker’s calculations, the estimated fuel consumption is a startling 2.1 litres/100km.
Total system output is 225kW/700Nm. The SUV can be driven in all-electric mode for 33km although the top speed is reduced from 204 to 120kph to achieve the best driving range. When the TDI powers the CrossBlue, the concept is a pure front-wheel drive vehicle.
Designed in Germany under the direction of Walter de Silva, the CrossBlue’s styling is said to merge VW’s ‘design DNA’ with the masculine character of the typical American SUV. And while Volkswagen remains adamant about this being a concept, it looks near production-ready.
The concept SUV is 4987mm long, 2015mm wide and 1733mm tall and rides on 21-inch alloys. The CrossBlue’s masculinity is emphasised by its flared wheelarches, long bonnet with a very short front overhang and an equally long roof line.
The concept is fitted with six individual seats over three rows although the production model is expected to be a bona fide seven-seater. Behind the third row is a 335-litre load space that grows to 812 litres with the rear seatbacks folded and close to 2000 litres when the second row’s seatbacks are also folded forward.
Befitting its potential family car status, the CrossBlue is also fitted with ESP, a four-wheel drive system and up to 12 airbags.
Other clever interior touches include the aluminium controls for the lights, climate control and four-wheel drive system that emerge from their ‘rest positions’ once the ignition is started. Leather and wood are also used extensively throughout the cabin; you can thank head of colour and trim, SA’s own Oona Scheepers, for that.
A 10.2-inch touchscreen is located in the centre console while mini iPads are integrated in the head restraints to allow those seated in the rear seats to enjoy audiovisual and online entertainment.