Volkswagen showed a new plug-in hybrid diesel concept vehicle, the CrossBlue mid-size SUV, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Volkswagen said it developed the vehicle specifically for the U.S. and Canadian markets, and that if it goes into production, it would fit between the Tiguan and Touareg in VW’s lineup.
Size-wise, the concept seats six, is 196.3 inches long, 79.3 inches wide, and 68.2 inches high. Inside, the vehicle has six seats organized in three rows. Headroom is 42.4 inches up front, 40.2 inches in the middle, and 37.6 inches in the back. Legroom is 37.3 inches in the second row and 36.1 inches in the third row. The second-row seats slide to provide access to the different rows.
The CrossBlue features a plug-in hybrid system that combines a TDI clean diesel engine with two electric motors, a dual-clutch automatic transmission, and an electric all-wheel-drive system. The vehicle comes with a 9.8kWh lithium-ion battery. According to VW, the vehicle would achieve 35 mpg combined, 89 mpge when operating in electric mode. The vehicle can also operate in an all-electric mode with a range of 14 miles.
In terms of performance, the CrossBlue’s TDI engine produces up to 305 hp and 516 lb.ft. of torque and has a 0 to 60 speed of 7.2 seconds, according to VW. The TDI Clean Diesel engine can produce 295 lb.-ft. at 1,750 rpm, and the electric motors produce torque of 133 lb.-ft. at the front wheels and 199 lb.-ft. at the rear. Combined, the system can produce up to 516 lb.-ft. of torque.
Driving range is 661 miles if the 18.5-gallon fuel tank when filled with ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, the company said. For fueling and charging, the vehicle comes with two “fuel doors,” with the filler neck for the diesel tank on the passenger side and two electrical sockets behind a door on the driver’s side. The first socket is used for charging the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery, and the second is for charging other devices (the CrossBlue can act as an auxiliary electrical generator, according to VW).
The CrossBlue provides multiple driving modes, from a hybrid operating mode to “Eco” or “Sport” modes. The Eco controls the throttle map and air conditioning to conserve energy, and the Sport mode offers maximum vehicle power. Other modes include off-road, charging, and EV mode (where it drives as an EV).
Inside, the vehicle features a 10.2-inch touchscreen, which controls infotainment functions and provides information about the hybrid system’s operations. The display can also show the navigation route or media center contents in 3D. Key switches are soft-touch controls, and the instrument cluster is user configurable.