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Deep Drive: Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept

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Old 09-21-13, 10:25 PM   #1
Hoovey2411
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Default Deep Drive: Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept

Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept


"Up Close And Personal With Volkswagen's "Top Priority"

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http://www.autoblog.com/photos/volks...photo-1070844/

Volkswagen is still very much dead-set on meeting its goal of selling 800,000 vehicles in the United States by 2018. And while the company has said on several occasions that it will not be expanding its lineup to models smaller than the Golf, there's certainly room for expansion elsewhere in its portfolio. At the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen debuted its CrossBlue concept – a three-row, midsize crossover designed specifically with the US market in mind. And during a roundtable discussion at the Frankfurt Motor Show earlier this month, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America Jonathan Browning told us that a midsize CUV is the company's "top priority" in the US.

But let's be clear: The CrossBlue is not a replacement for the Touareg, or any other vehicle in the company's US lineup (except maybe the Chrysler-supplied Routan minivan). This will be an all-new offering built on Volkswagen's scalable MQB architecture – the same platform that underpins the Mk7 Golf, among other products. To give us a better idea of exactly what's in store for the new CrossBlue, Volkswagen flew us out to Germany's Siegerland Airport the day before the Frankfurt show to give us an up-close-and-personal look at its all-important new crossover.

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During our time in Germany, Browning said on several occasions that a midsize crossover is a natural fit for Volkswagen in the US, and the CrossBlue, though still purely a concept at this point, gives a proper glimpse at what we can expect from an entry in this highly competitive segment. It's still hard to discern what the final design will look like, but we don't expect the shape to differ too much from what you see here, with nice, handsome proportions and clean lines – it'll look right at home with the other VW products in the showroom.

The CrossBlue measures in at 196.3 inches long, 79.3 inches wide and 62.2 inches tall. Compared to the Touareg, the concept is longer and wider, though is a full six inches shorter in height – more appropriate dimensions for a true seven-seat crossover. Volkswagen has fitted the CrossBlue with 21-inch alloy wheels at all four corners, wrapped in 235/45-series tires, though we're sure smaller rollers will be offered on base models when the production vehicle is launched.

Inside, there isn't anything remarkable in terms of design or packaging, with a modern, forward-thinking cabin that incorporates all of the basic infotainment and driver convenience functions into an airy, spacious cockpit. The sloping center stack features control ***** that are flush with the main surfacing, and raise up when the vehicle is started – just like the gear selector on modern Jaguar products.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

All of the necessary infotainment data is housed inside of a prominent 10.2-inch touchscreen interface in the middle of the dash, with a clean design that also displays hybrid drive information. Volkswagen says that there's a new three-dimensional feature, where, for example, the landscape actually rotates in the navigation function.

The CrossBlue concept uses a six-seat configuration, with two chairs in the second row and a split-folding third row. If the CrossBlue enters production, both six- and seven-passenger options will be available, with a full, three-person bench fitted in the second row instead of the two individual chairs. With both rows folded, up to 77.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity is available, and on the concept, Volkswagen has incorporated iPad Mini rear seat entertainment systems mounted into the back of the front seat headrests.

For the purposes of this concept, VW engineered the CrossBlue to be a plug-in diesel hybrid, mating two electric motors to the company's new EA288 oil-burning engine. The diesel engine on its own is good for 188 horsepower, but combined with the two e-motors – a 40-kilowatt unit up front, 80-kw motor out back – total system output is estimated to be around 302 horsepower and 517 pound-feet of torque, running to all four wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Click the image to open in full size.

Because of the scalable MQB architecture, though, Volkswagen engineers told us that the CrossBlue could be offered with a variety of powertrains, including a more conventional gasoline-only V6, or smaller mills like the company's 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, based on market demand. In the case of this plug-in hybrid system, Volkswagen estimates that, in hybrid mode, the CrossBlue will achieve roughly 35 miles per gallon. If the electric mode is utilized – with a 14 miles of electric range before the gasoline engine kicks in – that number could rise to 89 mpge (miles per gallon equivalent) combined.

We were promised some drive time in the CrossBlue during our time at Siegerland, and while we did get some, it wasn't exactly what we expected. Due to heavy rain and colder-than-usual weather, we were only allowed to drive the CrossBlue in a small circle around an airport hangar, and your author maxed out at a blistering top speed of 11 miles per hour. So as for drive impressions, we don't really have any. But as far as concept cars go, the CrossBlue was hardly a fragile machine, and other members of the media reported being allowed to drive the vehicle as fast as – wait for it – 20 mph on an open runway. Volkswagen tells us that the CrossBlue can actually top out at a maximum speed of 127 mph, and the run to 60 mph will take seven seconds flat. That latter number sounds pretty impressive, but considering the massive torque thrust available, it's not all that surprising.

When the vehicle is first started, it acts as a traditional hybrid, where the electric motors provide assist whenever possible, but the diesel engine kicks on shortly after launch to provide maximum power. If the driver selects E-mode, however, the diesel engine is shut off and the CrossBlue is powered solely by the rear, 80-kW motor for up to the aforementioned 14 miles. Other interesting factors in the CrossBlue experience involve a coasting mode; when the accelerator is released the engine and electric motors are decoupled from the drivetrain, assuming the battery is sufficiently charged. Furthermore, Volkswagen has detailed a "boosting mode," where the e-motors work with the TDI engine to provide maximum power to all four wheels. Finally, when an off-road mode is selected, the front electric motor gets its power from the TDI engine, and the power is then sent to the rear e-motor. As VW explains it, "Since the energy for driving the rear wheels flows by wire and not mechanically, this is referred to as 'propshaft by wire'."

Click the image to open in full size.

Another neat feature about the CrossBlue system is that the vehicle can actually act as an auxiliary electrical generator. Behind the fuel door on the driver's side, there are two sockets – one to charge the lithium-ion battery, and the second one can be used to connect electrical devices such as coolers or lighting for camping.

But despite the CrossBlue being at the top of the list for Volkswagen's product plans in the US, a firm decision still has not been made on whether the vehicle will get the green light. Last we heard, the final decision will likely come early next year, with the company's Chattanooga, TN plant as the production site for this vehicle.

Our takeaway from this encounter with the CrossBlue is that Volkswagen has a very solid plan laid out for a three-row crossover, designed specifically with the US market in mind. And with the death of the Routan leaving a seven-passenger hole in the company's lineup, a decision can't some soon enough. Volkswagen stands to gain a lot of traction in the US with an entry into this highly competitive class, making its 800,000-unit goal not seem quite as lofty.

http://www.autoblog.com/2013/09/21/v...ept-deep-dive/
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Old 09-22-13, 02:05 AM   #2
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It can't be any more obvious VW's intentions to appeal to American tastes. Looks like a chopped Grand Cherokee. Love the modern dash.
I hope this goes over well.
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Old 09-22-13, 10:48 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Fizzboy7 View Post
It can't be any more obvious VW's intentions to appeal to American tastes. Looks like a chopped Grand Cherokee. Love the modern dash.
I hope this goes over well.
Couldn't agree more. This is set to take on American and Asian CUVs head on. Traverse, Durango, Grand Cherokee, Explorer to name a few.

Stunning interior:

Quote:
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And tastefully done engine bay:

Quote:
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Old 06-23-14, 08:53 AM   #4
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Default New VW Crossover to be Built in Chattanooga

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We know that a new seven-seat crossover is on its way from Volkswagen, and now it seems that the mystery of where it will be built has been solved.

According to Reuters, VW is nearing a decision to choose its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee to build the crossover, rather than the company’s new facility in Puebla, Mexico.

Tennessee is offering a lot of incentives to make sure that VW chooses the state, including tax breaks, free land and infrastructure upgrades worth up to $300 million.

An attempt to save falling sales in North America, the new crossover should launch sometime next year as a 2016 model. The brand has already offered us a glimpse of the new crossover with the CrossBlue Concept (picture above), which was motivated by a plug-in hybrid diesel power train.

Volkswagen’s U.S. deliveries fell by seven percent in 2013 as a push into the midsize car market didn’t pay off. The new crossover, which may be only be sold in North America, is showing VW’s commitment to the North American market.
http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2...attanooga.html
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Old 06-23-14, 09:06 AM   #5
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This and the xc90 are very interesting this coming year. Glad to see these high mpg and spacious SUV's being offered now. I can definitely see it being a great road trip vehicle
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Old 06-23-14, 09:16 AM   #6
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Tennessee is offering a lot of incentives to make sure that VW chooses the state, including tax breaks, free land and infrastructure upgrades worth up to $300 million.
Sounds enticing
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Old 06-23-14, 06:30 PM   #7
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im guessing this will compete with the CX-9?
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Old 06-23-14, 06:52 PM   #8
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Yes, amongst other large crossovers. This thing is long overdue.
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Old 06-23-14, 07:00 PM   #9
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I hope the last entry by nearly 20 years is the best. They had all this time to figure it out. Sadly people like SUVs so much even mediocre ones sell. We will see.
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Old 06-23-14, 11:53 PM   #10
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7 seat CUV segment appears to be heating up with VW addition and Jeep Wagoneer coming.
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Old 06-24-14, 04:35 AM   #11
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I never understood why nobody made a diesel hybrid--diesel power delivery is a much better match for generating electricity than gas, plus better fuel economy when using the engine to drive the wheels. Seems like a perfect match, glad VW is finally doing it.

Though I'm not convinced we want another SUV to replace my wife's RX350, this may change that. I also wonder if they'll stick this powertrain in the Golf, since it's the same platform.
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Old 06-24-14, 07:37 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by LexFather View Post
Sadly people like SUVs so much even mediocre ones sell.
sadly? what makes one mediocre? there's a wide range of options to be sure, but as predicted, more and more americans have switched from sedans to cuv/suv's at all specs, price points. 'mediocre' just means average, right? so there's always going to be average ones in any range of course.

vw has certainly been up and down and not really a significant player in the u.s., but i'm glad they intend to be bigger, whether they're successful or not, as competition is a good thing.

about this vehicle - looks a bit like a better looking ford flex to me.

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Old 11-12-14, 02:26 PM   #13
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are they planning to build it out of Legos?
for some reason, the front looks a bit toyish to me
lol
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Old 11-12-14, 07:17 PM   #14
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An attempt to save falling sales in North America, the new crossover should launch sometime next year as a 2016 model. The brand has already offered us a glimpse of the new crossover with the CrossBlue Concept (picture above), which was motivated by a plug-in hybrid diesel power train.
This is going to be expensive too. I don't think it's their saving grace
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Old 01-11-15, 03:30 PM   #15
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Default Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe is a green fun-machine we want to drive

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Think back to January's Detroit Auto Show. Those of you that are fans of the Volkswagen brand, impressed with green technology or simply fall into the "diesel geek" category, will almost certainly remember VW's CrossBlue concept with its diesel/electric hybrid powertrain, seating for seven, and somewhat awkward crossover styling. It was an impressive piece of future tech, to be sure, though it left something to be desired in the, well, desirability department.

Here in Shanghai, VW has brought along a CrossBlue Coupe concept that would seem to include most of the goodness of the original, but flavored with more sport and style this time around.

The CrossBlue Coupe makes use of the same electric drive components as the larger three-row concept: two electric motors (front and rear) powered by a 9.8-kWh lithium-ion battery. However, where the original concept made use of a TDI four-cylinder, the Coupe substitutes a 295-horsepower, direct-injection, gasoline-burning V6.

In terms of performance, this combination of powertrains is impressive. Total system output is rated at 415 hp. With power flowing through a six-speed DSG transmission, the CrossBlue Coupe will scoot from 0 to 62 miles per hour in just 5.9 seconds, and will continue on to a top speed of 147 mph.

The CrossBlue Coupe will scoot from 0 to 62 mph in just 5.9 seconds, and will continue on to a top speed of 147 mph.
Even with that go-fast ability, however, the Coupe doesn't belie its "blue" origins. As in the original concept, the CrossBlue coupe offers all-EV operation with a maximum range of 21 miles, and a top speed of 75 mph (though likely not both of those at the same time). VW quotes a combined fuel consumption figure of 79 miles per gallon on the European cycle – 34.1 mpg when running on the V6 alone – and a total theoretical range of close to 720 miles.

The CrossBlue coupe is shorter and lower than its three-row progenitor, but just as wide. The result, as you can see, is a far sleeker and more aggressive looking crossover that looks quite planted on its 22-inch alloy wheels.

Inside, we find an interior that is quite high-tech though not unrecognizable from the VW interiors on the current line. A muted black and gray pallet is accented with brightwork and a thick yellow trim line that surrounds the cabin. There's a dominating 10.1-inch touchscreen up front, complete with proximity sensors, which is used to control all of the vehicle systems and entertainment options. In the back seats, passengers find twin iPad Mini units on the headrests (seen above), which they can use to, "enjoy audio, video and online programs." Sounds like just the thing for the family's summer road trip to the Nürburgring.

Scroll down to read the full VW press release about the CrossBlue Coupe concept, and look for live images of the car from Shanghai, as we bring you live coverage on Friday and Saturday.
http://www.autoblog.com/2013/04/19/v...e-want-to-dri/
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