Volkswagen has taken the wraps off a new SUV concept, named Cross Coupe GTE, at the Detroit motor show this week.
Aimed at showcasing the benefits of the German brand's new modular chassis architecture, the GTE is the third SUV-style concept model presented by VW since 2013, and previews the styling of a potential future model.
Pitched for a showroom debut in late 2016, the GTE will provide a more cost effective alternative to similarly 'stylish' 4x4s such as the BMW X6 and recently unveiled Mercedes GLE, and will provide a more sporting alternative to the seven-seat CrossBlue SUV.
Slightly longer and wider than VW's current large Touareg SUV, the Cross Coupe GTE has been designed to appeal to the American market, though company bosses have yet to rule out the model's launch in Europe. If it does make it this side of the pond, the GTE will be pitched below its sibling, as the Touareg is moved upmarket to do battle against premium SUVs such as the BMW X5.
Powering the GTE is a 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine, mated to a brace of electric motors in a hybrid configuration. Combined power is a muscular 355bhp, with the car taking a claimed 6.0 seconds to cover the 0-60mph sprint, before running out of puff at 130mph.
It's not what you'd call a binge drinker, either. Thanks to plug-in capability, the GTE is able to travel for up to 20 miles on electricity alone; drastically reducing average fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. This engine configuration is expected to make an appearance in a number of VW's larger vehicles in the coming years, though a production version of the CrossBlue will also be offered with conventional petrol and diesel motors.
The interior also previews the styling direction that future VW products will take. As ever with VW, the styling is ordered and minimalist, with function taking a priority over form. That said. there are some sleek design touches. The conventional dials, for instance, have been replaced with a 12.3-inch digital display, as seen on the latest VW Passat and Audi TT.
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