VW is set to release its midsize seven-seat SUV in the end of 2016, and to preview the look and potential drivetrain for this new SUV, the German automaker revealed its Cross Coupe GTE five-seat crossover concept at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. While this concept is fairly similar to the CrossBlue and CrossBlue Coupe concepts that also previewed the upcoming midsize SUV, the Cross Coupe GTE has a new drivetrain to show off on top of a slightly more production-ready look.
On the outside, hard body lines make up the Cross Coupe GTE and give it a more aggressive look than the previous two concepts. The headlights and turn signals are integrated into the grille more cleanly, giving the front end a sharp and futuristic look. The lower apron is highlighted by a gloss-black surround and an aluminum insert that goes well with the two-bar grille. Around back, the hatch is highlighted by an aluminum accent strip that underlines a set of trapezoidal LED taillights. On the rear bumper, the Cross Coupe GTE gets another aluminum accent strip that also surrounds the aggressively shaped exhaust outlets, while an aluminum skid plate integrates nicely with the rear diffuser.
Inside the cabin, things take a turn for the futuristic, but it is still very much an obtainable look and feel. Blue Nappa leather graces the seats and other touchable points, while gloss-black and chrome elements contrast nicely and add an upscale feel. In the center console is a 10.1-inch touchscreen that has proximity controls and gesture recognition. This touchscreen allows the driver and passenger to control the infotainment system and basic vehicle functions. This screen also adapts to the setting the Cross Coupe is in – Snow, Sport, On-Road or Off-Road – and can display information in 2D or 3D.
Powering the Cross Coupe GTE is a 3.6-liter, V-6 engine that produces 276 horses and 258 pound-feet of twist. This engine combines with a pair of electric motors, one up from and one in the rear. The front motor spins the front wheels to the tune of 54 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, and it can act as a generator in certain driving conditions. The rear motor powers the back wheels with 114 horses and 199 pounds of twist. The grand total of the drivetrain is 355 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and it all goes through a six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission. This combo allows the Cross Coupe GTE to hit 60 mph in just six seconds and top out at 130 mph.
The Cross Coupe GTE features five drive modes to allow the driver to hone the SUV to the conditions: E-Mode, Hybrid, GTE, Off-Road, and Battery Hold/Battery Charge. In E-Mode, only the rear motor powers the SUV, giving it 20 miles of electric-only driving range and the V-6 engine will kick in automatically to spin the front motor as a generator if needed. Hybrid mode is the default setting, and it automatically selects which engine-motor combination is best for the conditions. In GTE mode, all three powerplants work together to deliver the best performance. The Off-Road mode powers all four wheels, with the front wheels being driven by the V-6 engine and the front electric motor acting as a generator for the rear electric motor. The Battery Charge/Battery Hold mode charges the battery while driving and keeps the energy content of the battery constant for driving in urban areas.
There is no mention as to whether or not this drivetrain will be part of the new seven-passenger SUV’s lineup, but I am willing to bet that it’s in the plans. The new crossover will hit dealers in the end of 2016.