Although at the moment it's still just a concept, the Volkswagen CrossBlue SUV could appear as a production car as early as 2015. This innovative hybrid SUV uses the latest technology to offer all the size and power of an SUV with the fuel efficiency and amenities of a hybrid vehicle. It runs on a combination diesel-electric powertrain, along with a lithium ion battery pack. Taking a closer look at the concept version of this new VW gives some indication of what the future production car will look like.
At first glance, the CrossBlue looks like the Tiguan, but it's larger in size and more aggressive in style. The CrossBlue is 4987mm long, 1733mm in height, and 2015mm wide, making it larger than the existing Tiguan. This makes it longer and wider than the popular Touareg and other models as well, which you can see by looking at SUV reviews and comparisons at Motoring. The CrossBlue has a rather boxy shape, with a simple grille and a wide rear end. It appears solid and confident, with its wide tyres and large door openings.
The interior of this concept car is currently adorned with sleek black accents and plenty of smooth leather, along with wooden veneers and metallic highlights. This gives it an elegant, classy finish that will be inviting to passengers. The cabin is rather spacious, thanks to its boxy shape. There's a wide centre console and a touchscreen mounted high in the dashboard. Drivers will benefit from an array of functions built into the steering wheel, along with instruments in the dashboard that change colours according to the driving mode selected. However, it's important to remember that this is simply the concept model, so it's unknown yet whether these flashy features will make it into the production car in 2015.
The layout is one of the CrossBlue's strengths, with three rows of seating in this SUV. The car can seat up to seven passengers, but both the second and third rows can be folded down to provide more room for cargo. All told, the CrossBlue can fit up to 2000 litres of space in the back with these rows of seats folded down.
The CrossBlue is currently available as a plug-in car, with a combination of diesel and electric power. There could be a wider range of engine options available in the future, but at the moment the car is fuelled by a 187 bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine, along with two electric motors. The combined horsepower is 302, with a 516 pound-feet of torque. To supply energy to the motors, there's a lithium ion battery pack built into the cargo area's floor space. The car can switch modes easily, running from hybrid to fully electric at high speed. The car is capable of accelerating from 0 to 62 in 7.5 seconds, and reaches a top speed of 127 mph. When put into hybrid mode, the fuel consumption is currently 135 mpg.
At the moment, little is known about pricing and specs, but when this concept car goes into production mode over the next couple of years it's bound to become a strong contender in t he hybrid SUV market.