Purchasing new hardware? Read our latest product comparisons

Volkswagen unveils CrossBlue midsize SUV concept for North America


January 16, 2013

Volkswagen's CrossBlue hybrid SUV concept on show at the North American International Auto Show (Photo: C.C.Weiss/Gizmag.com)

Volkswagen's CrossBlue hybrid SUV concept on show at the North American International Auto Show (Photo: C.C.Weiss/Gizmag.com)

Image Gallery (18 images)

Volkswagen has used the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) to premiere an interesting mid-size diesel plug-in hybrid SUV concept designed specifically for the American and Canadian markets – the CrossBlue. The concept's powertrain combines a turbocharged 4-cylinder TDI Clean Diesel engine, two electric motors (40 kW in the front and 85 kW in the rear), a dual-clutch transmission and an almost baffling number of driving modes to deliver a combined city/highway fuel economy of 89 MPGe (2.6 l/100km equivalent) when driven in hybrid mode, or 35 MPG (6.7 l/100km) in diesel-only.

At a length of 4,987 mm (196.3 inches), the six-seat CrossBlue is slightly longer than VW’s existing Tiguan and Touareg SUVs.

Putting out 700 Nm of torque, it can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds (0-100 km/h in 7.5 seconds) and there's also a “propshaft by wire” electronic four-wheel-drive system for heading off the tarmac.

In its default hybrid driving mode, the CrossBlue's electric motors are used whenever possible. By switching to Eco mode, parameters such as the air conditioner and accelerator pedal characteristics are managed for minimal fuel and electrical consumption. In Sport mode, on the other hand, emphasis is placed simply on getting as much power out of the drive system as possible – this includes using both electric motors to give the vehicle a boost when accelerating.

For pure electric driving (E-mode), the rear electric motor provides propulsion and the vehicle’s top speed is dropped from from the usual 127 mph (204 km/h) down to 75 mph (120 km/h). Based on a U.S. test cycle, the CrossBlue can travel up to 14 miles (22.5 km) on one charge of its battery in this mode.

Should the driver use up the battery while in E-mode, the vehicle will automatically switch back to its diesel engine.

Energy for the electric motors is stored in a center tunnel-located, 8-module, 9.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that can be recharged from a 230-volt outlet. Charging is also supplemented by regenerative braking if Battery regeneration mode is selected. Upon reaching its destination, the SUV can also serve as an electrical generator, powering devices such as coolers via a built-in socket.

Full-time four wheel drive can be selected by switching to Offroad mode. In this state, the diesel engine provides energy to the front electric motor, which both powers the front wheels and provides power to the rear motor. That power is sent by electrical wire, not mechanically, hence the system’s being known as “propshaft by wire.”

Other notable features of the CrossBlue include controls that rise out of the dash when the ignition is turned on, a 10.2-inch touchscreen for controlling the infotainment system and checking the state of the hybrid system, and iPad minis mounted in the back of the first row head restraints.

There’s presently no word on when – or if – we’ll see a production version of the CrossBlue.

Source: Volkswagen

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Yet another vehicle Volkswagen teases the public with. Ferdinand Porsche is spinning in his grave. I'd like to see VW make good on concept car more than once a decade.


Now we're talking ... but wouldn't you know, this one will probably never go into production.

Fritz Menzel

You know what would be a good concept? To actually produce and sell cars like this in the US! Seems only Europe gets efficient vehicles.


Although this is just a concept, a production version will probably make it to the streets, albeit with some changes.

I bet this VW will become the base platform on which the Bentley 4WD will be based, that side profile looks very similar and they are owned by VW as well.

Post a Comment

Login with your Gizmag account:

Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our articles