Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE Concept Shows Elements of New SUV’s Styling
GTE Plug-In Hybrid Powertrain Offers 20-Mile EV Range
Volkswagen revealed the Cross Coupe GTE concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last week, offering a better idea of what to expect from the company’s next SUV offering.
The five-seat crossover is powered by VW’s 3.6L VR6 engine, which produces 276 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. An electric motor up front makes 54 hp and 162 lb-ft, while a rear-mounted electric motor is rated at 114 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque, giving the car a total system output of 355 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Volkswagen says the Cross Coupe GTE has an electric-only range of 20 miles.
The company states that the concept will inform the styling of the next generation of Volkswagen SUVs and crossovers, including an as-yet-unnamed seven-seater, due late next year. The overall look of the Cross Coupe is similar to other VW concepts (including the CrossBlue from 2013’s Detroit show and CrossBlue Coupe from the Shanghai show the same year), but the GTE offers slightly more refined details, starting up front.
The Cross Coupe’s grille, headlights, and turn signals are integrated with one another, with the lighting elements mounted in open space created by the two-bar grille finished in brushed and polished aluminum. VW’s new A-frame treatment makes an appearance on the concept as well, bisecting the large lower grille into three distinct sections. The hood and front fenders of the Cross Coupe are scalloped, providing some visual strength, and a side character element links the front and rear fender contours with a single horizontal line that houses the door handles. A light collector trimmed with a chrome strip hangs out on the rocker panels. The rear end looks a bit Lincoln-ish, with taillights, rear quarter windows, and a raked hatch that call the MKC Concept to mind, but it’s still a tasteful, elegant design for the People’s Car people.
According to Volkswagen, the styling of the Cross Coupe GTE’s interior is inspired by the German Bahaus movement. It represents a more marked departure from current VW interiors, even recent concept cars. The dashboard and instrument panel are very minimalistic, with the infotainment system occupying a slightly diagonal space on the center stack. A boat-throttle shift selector calls contemporary Audi and Chrysler designs to mind, but the eye-catching hash-mark HVAC outlets are uniquely Volkswagen. The interior looks like it’s trimmed in production-friendly materials, so it’s possible that a near copy of this will appear in VW showrooms soon.
Volkswagen promises that the Cross Coupe offers performance in a variety of driving conditions. Special settings for battery-charge, off-road, all-electric, hybrid, and “GTE” drive modes are another concept feature we won’t be surprised to see make the jump to the production line. In fact, the whole SUV looks like it could be produced rather easily using Volkswagen’s modular transverse matrix (MQB, in German) platform, which will also underpin the seven-seat SUV, the current VW Golf, and the upcoming Tiguan.
With such pleasant, trim styling and a contemporary plug-in hybrid powertrain, the Cross Coupe GTE might make a great production car if Volkswagen decides to build it. If not, however, we’re excited that certain styling and technical elements will show up in the seven-seater production version of the CrossBlue concept.