Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept at Detroit Auto Show

Unveiled today at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, the Volkswagen Cross Blue is a large three row crossover.

Volkswagen designers and engineers have specifically designed the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle for Canadian and US Markets. The CrossBlue’s drivetrain consists of a 2.0 liter turbo diesel 4 cylinder engine and 2 electric motors with a combined output of 305 horsepower and over 510 lb-ft of torque! Using a 6 speed dual clutch transmission, one electric motor turns the front wheels and the other drives the back wheels independently making the CrossBlue a through-the-road hybrid. The plug-in hybrid drivetrain offers an estimated fuel economy of 35 MPG combined, and 89 MPGe in electric mode.

The driver can select zero-emissions driving mode, or the vehicle can automatically select it. With the 98 kWh lithium-ion battery pack located in the rear tunnel, the Volkswagen CrossBlue concept can travel up to 14 miles in pure-electric mode. In zero-emissions driving mode, the top speed is reduced from 127 mph to 75 mph to maximize efficiency. Overall driving range is 661 miles using the 18.5 gallon tank and a fully charged battery. The default driving mode of the CrossBlue is as a classic hybrid vehicle with the electric motor used to propel the vehicle as often as possible. The driver can switch modes to either Eco or Sport modes to either maximize efficiency or maximize driving power. There is also an offroad mode that permanently engages all wheel drive, and an EV mode where only electric power is used.

The CrossBlue concept has 6 individual seats – 2 in each of the 3 rows, and according to VW, “combines the visual cues of an SUV with the flexibility of a minivan.” That flexibility seemingly lacks the most useful minivan feature of sliding rear doors. There’s also a seemingly tiny cargo space when all the seats are being used.

An interesting feature is the 2 electric plugs located behind the rear door on the driver’s side – one socket is used to charge the battery pack, and the second plug is for plugging in accessories like coolers and air mattress pumps to power accessories.

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