Volkswagen has shown several crossovers concepts with plug-in hybrid powertrains at recent auto shows, including the seven-passenger CrossBlue at Detroit and the five-passenger Cross Coupe TDI in Geneva. The latest is the CrossBlue Coupe, which makes its debut at China’s Shanghai Motor Show and is claimed to influence future Volkswagen production models.
Like those concepts, the Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe has strong geometric shapes and an abundance of body-panel creases. The nose features Volkswagen’s signature horizontal grille and headlight arrangement, with LED running lights and two wide chrome strips. Below that, two more LED strips adorn the mesh lower air intake, and a chrome skid plate extends onto a black lower lip.
The CrossBlue Coupe has a sloping roofline and a fat, steeply angled C-pillar that contribute to a sportier appearance in profile. Chrome roof rails, a deep character line that runs through the door handles, and 22-inch wheels contrast with the unique “CrossOrange Metallic” paint. Out back, parallelogram-shaped stainless-steel exhaust tips sit inside an aluminum trim piece, and a skid plate mirrors the one up front. The 3D-effect taillights feature several intersecting shapes and aluminum strips.
The powertrain uses a turbocharged V-6 gasoline engine with 295 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, a 54-hp motor at the front wheels, and a 114-hp motor at the rear wheels. A six-speed dual-clutch transmission dispenses the gas engine’s power to the front wheels. With both motors and the V-6 working together, peak output is 415 hp and 516 lb-ft. That’s enough to send the CrossBlue Coupe concept to 62 mph in 5.9 seconds and to a top speed of 147 mph.
The car primarily operates in an Eco driving mode, however, that lets it travel up to 21 miles and reach speeds of 75 mph on electrical power alone. Once the 9.8-kWh lithium-ion battery is drained, the CrossBlue Coupe utilizes the turbo V-6 engine and returns a claimed 34 mpg in European testing. In a special off-road mode, the gas engine drives the front electric motor as a generator to power the rear motor and turn all four wheels. That means the Volkswagen can offer all-wheel drive even if the battery is depleted.
The five-seat cabin echoes the design cues of the exterior, with plenty of horizontal lines and geometric shapes. Nappa leather adorns the seats, real chrome, spruce wood, and aluminum are used for trim; the headliner is made from dark Alcantara. When the driver starts the car, the climate and headlight controls rise up from the dashboard and the center stack. Ambient lighting varies from CrossBlue Metallic in normal driving to red if the car is set to Sport mode. Apple iPads are built into the headrests to keep rear-seat passengers entertained.
A 12.3-inch LCD screen takes the place of a normal instrument cluster and can show various gauges from fuel-economy and driving range information, to torque and tachometer readouts, depending on the driving mode. On the center stack, a 10.1-inch touchscreen sits above the climate controls. Its navigation function can even show a three-dimensional city view in which buildings “rise up on the horizon like the structures in the movie ‘Inception’.” The shift lever acts like a joystick, springing back to its central position after the driver selects Reverse or Drive, while a button on the top selects Park.
Though the CrossBlue Coupe concept isn’t going into production, it does give us a good idea of what future Volkswagen crossovers will look like. We can almost certainly expect a version of the plug-in hybrid powertrain and modernist styling to appear on future models.