Detroit Motor Show: Volkswagen Cross Coupé GTE unveiled

Volkswagen has revealed a new SUV concept car – called the Cross Coupe GTE – at the Detroit Motor Show.

Sharing many styling cues with both the previous CrossBlue and CrossBlue Coupe concepts, the latest model, known as the Cross Coupe GTE, points towards the styling direction of the German marque’s future models.

Anyone familiar with those previous concepts will immediately see similarities. The front is dominated by a grille that seamlessly integrates the LED headlights into its outer edges, while the front bumper consists of a huge air dam intersected by a metallic blade.

The flanks contain hints of both coupe and off-roader: oversized alloy wheels sitting beneath chunky arches imply the former, while the narrow glasshouse and sloping roof line show the Cross Coupe’s sporty intentions. The back features a squared-off shape which looks to us like a more angular reinterpretation of the latest Golf.

The interior aims to offer the driver a simple, intuitive layout through the use of “digital controls”. A 10.1-inch touchscreen deals with the infotainment functions, while a 12.1 inch display in the dash offers a graphic presentation of the dials. The front is furnished with leather sports seats, while rear passengers sit on a bench for three, which splits and folds for added practicality.

What powers it?

In keeping with the current trend for the most eco-minded cars, the Cross Coupe GTE is a plug-in hybrid. A conventional internal combustion engine comes in the form of a 276hp 3.6-litre V6, which in the UK has seen service in – among others – the previous generation Passat and Skoda Superb. This unit is backed up by two electric motors. A 116hp/199lb ft motor sends power to the rear wheels, while a smaller unit transmits drive to the front, adding an extra 54hp and 162lb ft.

With all modes of propulsion working together, power output totals 355hp, which is enough to help the Cross Coupe GTE crack the 60mph dash in six seconds, and a top speed of 130mph.

Anything else I should know?

There are five drive modes for the driver can choose from to achieve the best compromise of economy and performance. In the most eco-minded E-Mode, the Cross Coupe GTE only draws power from the rear electric motor, with a range of up to 20 miles – ideal for many drivers’ daily commutes.

The remaining modes are known as Hybrid (the default setting), Offroad, Battery Hold / Battery Charge, and the most performance-oriented setting, called GTE. In offroad, the drive system ensures that all four wheels receive power at all times. This means that if the batteries for the rear electric motor are running low, the front unit acts as a generator – powered by the 3.6-litre V6 – which sends charge to the rear.

When can I have it?

Because this is a concept, you can’t. However, Volkswagen has revealed that a model largely similar to the Cross Coupe GTE will eventually see production, though more likely in the form of a seven seat-mid size SUV.

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