Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe Concept Debuts in US
Remember Volkswagen's hunky CrossBlue SUV concept that looked thoroughly American? Well, it will now decorate the German stand at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, but because this one is a "coupé" it is technically a "U.S. Debut". Welcome to the Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupé concept - a sleeker, less roomy version of the original. Could this five-seater bring something fresh and exciting to the table?
Here are the basics: 192.5 inches long and 79.3 inches wide and 66.1 inches high, the Coupé features sporty design motives: 22-inch wheels with five V-shaped double spokes, a massive hood, short A-pillars, a long and sloping roof-line, and a swept-back C-pillar. There's also a fascination with horizontal lines (Volkswagen DNA they say):
"The designers have combined a dominant line—one that starts in the upper area of the rear lights and runs at the height of the door handles—with a second line that begins beneath the rear lights and ends in the front fender."
Let's get to the real straight talk though. Because of the MQB platform on which the Coupé is based, pretty much any four- and six-cylinder Volkswagen engine will fit inside. This current concept, however, is a plug-in hybrid with two electric motors and a turbocharged direct-injection (TSI) 295 hp V6 petrol engine. The bottom line is 415 hp of combined power. By default, one also gets Volkswagen's MQB front suspension and four-link rear suspension; electro-mechanical steering, and a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. Electrically speaking, there's a 54 hp motor at the front and a 114 hp one at the back, while the li-ion battery pack that powers them can be found in the center tunnel.
Despite its still prominent size, the CrossBlue Coupé manages a 0 to 60 time of just below six seconds and a top speed of 147 mph. Yet, because of all the clever bits underneath, it has a manufacturer estimated combined fuel consumption of 70 MPGe and a "theoretical" range of 570 miles in hybrid mode. The default mode of driving is quoted as "Eco". It is supposed to cleverly manage the power output from all sources in a bid to achieve an ideal balance of power and efficiency. Want to give it the full beans? Go for the "Sport" button which utilizes everything this SUV holds. Other modes include an all-electric one (the rear electric motor only) that holds for about 13 miles with speed of no more than 75 mph. If you run out of juice, you can switch on the "Charging" mode which sees the V6 TSI engine giving propulsion and charging the battery. Offroad mode is where it get's complicated. Obviously, it's an AWD mode but the back wheels are powered by the rear-electric motor, which in turn is being fed with energy from the front motor, which in turn acts as a generator powered by the engine, which in turn also provides power to the front wheels.
Inside, Volkswagen are especially proud of their (horizontal) dasboard that "extends into the side door trims". For materials, do not expect anything less than soft Nappa leather in outlandish-sounding colors like Authracite Pearl and Asphalto. There are also chrome surfaces, wood accents and Graphite colored Alcantra for the roof pillars and headliner.
Don't be fooled by all that trendy glamor as this is not your average H&M store. There are also enough gadgets inside to make even the most hardcore techie tingle with excitement. Take the "programmable" instrument cluster for example. Whilst driving in Eco mode the left side of the gauge shows the "Powermeter" and battery status. On the right you get your current speed and fuel level. The center panel can be used to display widgets such as gear selection, driving range, date and time, the weather and navigation data. In "Sport" mode, the left-hand instrument displays torque and battery status within a circling tachometer. The backseat audience also has access to the infotainment/multimedia system through two iPad minis mounted on the back of the two front-seat headrests.
The 10.1-inch touchscreen navigation also tends to adapt in accordance with the current driving mode. In Sport mode all the surrounding buildings represented on the screen are "suppressed" so that the image becomes less busy and thus the focus being on the actual road. Switch to "Eco" mode and the buildings will rise on the horizon Inception-style. (not our simile, VW's).
There we are then. Expect more excitement starting on the 22th of November within the LA Auto Show, within the Los Angeles Convention center, within Los Angeles.