DETROIT: VW eyes another untapped niche
CrossBlue concept may morph into production seven-seat SUV for North America
Volkswagen is toying with the idea of introducing a road-biased seven-seat SUV purely for the American market - and has a concept hinting at what it might be like on display here in Detroit.
The CrossBlue plug-in hybrid, if given the green light, would slot into the SUV range below the mid-sized Tiguan and the larger Touareg.
The concept is powered by a TDI diesel engine plus with two rear-mounted electric motors and drives all four wheels through a twin clutch automatic gearbox.
VW claims 35mpg economy on the US test cycle in hybrid mode and up to 303bhp and 700Nm of torque.
The show car has six individual seats although, if approved for production at VW's Chatanoonaga plant in Tennessee, the plan is to fit seven. Diesel and petrol powertrains would be offered alongside the hybrid.
"This is a car for a specific segment which only exists in the USA," said Ulrich Hackenberg, the head of VW product planning and engineering.
"In the US it is essential to have a seven-seater. Seven-seat SUVs are replacing minivans (MPVs in Europe). It is important for females to like a car that they take their children to soccer in and they don't like a minivan."
Hackenberg said the CrossBlue would be "more of a road car with the possibility to go on bad surfaces" than the go-anywhere Touareg and less of a premium model.
"There is a sweet spot that it could hit and maybe it would be suitable for China - not now but in the future," he added.
It is based on an extended version of the new modular vehicle architecture which underpins the Mk VII Golf and is destined for a whole range of VWs from Polo to Passat.
That means the plug-in hybrid drivetrain could easily be adopted for the next generation Tiguan SUV in other markets, said Hackenberg.
This QUBE report from just-auto provides a comprehensive overview of the global transmissions sector, major suppliers, top markets, technology trends and market size forecasts. Use this report to gain...
Over 500 vehicles have been updated in our live database of current and future new passenger car product over the past week, and we've added new future models....
This QUBE report from just-auto provides a comprehensive overview of the global electrified vehicles sector, major OEM developments, top 14 markets, technology trends and market projections. Use this ...
LMC Automotive's service provides customers with the very latest monthly estimates of passenger car production across all of Europe. Updated monthly and provided model-by-model, and available only via...
The 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed was held between 11-14 July inclusive, with many vehicles making their global debuts....
- Volvo UK specs up seven seat XC90 redesign
- ANALYSIS: Mercedes smart brand's last chance?
- THE WEEK THAT WAS: Hobnobbing with the A-listers
- Briefing: 48V mild hybrids (3)
- ANALYSIS: Suzuki's new brand flagship - Vitara
- UK: Aston Martin to reveal future models strategy
- Geneva show list updated
- Audi plots 2020 expansion strategy
- GENEVA DEBUTS: Audi Q7 e-tron to be a diesel PHEV
- US: Cadillac's De Nysschen on future engine plans
- Global light vehicle engine technologies market- forecasts to 2029
- Global vehicle lightweighting - technology, trends and the future
- LMC Automotive's European Passenger Car Production Estimates - Latest Monthly Update
- Global electrified light vehicles market- forecasts to 2018
- PLDB - vehicle cycle plan database (annual subscription)