2013 Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe Concept

German automaker, Volkswagen , is pretty serious about rolling out its CrossBlue lineup. Before it does so with production models, though, the automaker is testing waters with concept versions.

We saw the CrossBlue Concept earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show, and now, Volkswagen is taking to the Shanghai Auto Show to present its latest concept, the CrossBlue Coupe Concept.

This new concept is certainly just as stunning as the first CrossBlue Concept. And the release of a second variant of the CrossBlue model really shows just how serious VW is about offering green options that are still fun to drive. But its production outlook seems bleak, for now.

Volkswagen impressed us with the CrossBlue Concept back in January. We’re hitching our wagons in believing that the German automaker can do it again in Shanghai.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe Concept

UPDATE: This review has been updated with official images and details on the CrossBlue Coupe Concept.

Exterior

Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe Concept

Unlike the CrossBlue Concept, though, the CrossBlue Coupe Concept looks a lot more like a concept, complete with some eye-catching modern details, like the use of a one-piece grille and headlight configuration that gives the CrossBlue Coupe Concept a very unique look.

The other distinctive features of the CrossBlue Coupe Concept’s front profile are those enormous air vents on the front bumper, which reminds us completely of Lamborghini. Also setting it apart is a set of 22-inch wheels wrapped up in 285/44R22 tires.

The rear features L-shaped taillights that really set it apart from other cars in its class. The only other striking details on the rear are the trapezoidal tailpipes that are integrated with the rear bumper insert. The rest of the back end is rather uneventful.

Down the side, the CrossBlue Coupe Concept fits the bill as your typical crossover coupe model. A shallow-raked windshield gives it a sleek look and the swooping roofline makes it look fast just sitting in a parking space. The only part that stands out from the side is the hard shoulder line that spans its length.

Overall, the CrossBlue Concept looks more like a prototype of a production car rather than a concept. This leads us to wonder if VW is really planning on keeping this just a concept or eventually releasing a production version to the public. Sure, VW says “No” for now, but that could quickly change if the public receives it well. And we’re sure it will impress everyone in Shanghai.

Dimensions
Length4,889 mm (192.5 inches)
Width2,015 mm (79.5 inches)
Height1,679 mm (63 inches)
Wheelbase2,980 mm (117.3 inches)

Interior

Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe Concept

Very little was revealed about the interior, but we still learned some important details. As you can see in the images, VW did not go over the top with the CrossBlue Coupe Concept’s interior, which leads us to believe that this model is definitely a preview of a planned production model.

The images show what appear to be leather-wrapped semi-sport seats that boast a two-tone black-and-grey color scheme. The steering wheel is your run-of-the-mill flat-bottomed wheel with a few auxiliary controls mounted on it. Behind the wheel are traditional-looking gauges that display power usage, speed, gasoline level, outside temp and a handful of other pertinent details. Well within reach of the driver is an infotainment system with what looks to be about an 8-inch LCD screen with a 3D navi system.

The center stack is superbly laid out with all of the buttons you need, but none that you don’t. Also rearing its head are buttons that control the drive modes, which include: "Sport," "Off-Road" and "ESP OFF."

Interior Dimensions
Seating Capacity5 Adults
Luggage Capacity (Seats in place)537 Liters (18.96 cubic-feet)
Maximum Luggage Capacity1,101 Liters (38.88 cubic-feet)

Performance

Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe Concept

Word has it that the CrossBlue Coupe Concept is powered by a direct-injection V-6 turbocharged gasoline engine that works together with a pair of electric motors — 40 kW (54 horsepower) powering the front wheels and 85 kW (114 horsepower) powering the rear wheels. Taken together, the powertrain can produce an output of 305 kW (409 horsepower). Torque comes in at 500 Nm (368 pound-feet) at 1,800 rpm from the gasoline engine, 180 Nm (133 pound-feet) from the front motor and 270 Nm (199 pound-feet) from the rear motor. This gives the CrossBlue Concept a combined torque of 700 Nm (516 pound-feet).

Driving the wheels is a six-speed DSG transmission. This driveline affords the CrossBlue Coupe a 0-to-100 km/h (62 mph) time of 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 146 mph.

Fuel consumption hits 3 liters/100 km (94.1 mpg) in the combined cycle. Once the batteries are depleted, the V-6 engine still provides a respectable 6.9 liters/100km (40.9 mpg). If it runs on electric only, the CrossBlue Coupe Concept can travel 33 km (20 miles).

In total, there are six driving modes. The "Charging" mode, which is activated by a center-console-mounted button, uses the V-6 engine to charge the batteries for later use. The "Coasting" mode is activated when the driver releases the gas pedal and it decouples the engine and motors from the drivetrain to preserve energy, given the battery has a good charge. "Charging" mode is activated when you press the brakes and it decouples the V-6 engine from the drivetrain and uses the brake force to recharge the batteries. The "Boosting" mode uses the V-6 engine and both electric motors at full capacity for maximum performance and all-wheel drive. The "Off-Road" mode drives all four wheels, but the V-6 engine powers the front wheels and the front motor uses the engine’s energy to power the rear motor, which powers the rear wheels. Finally, the "TSI Only" mode is when only the V-6 engine powers the CrossBlue, making it a front-wheel-drive vehicle.

Pricing and Release Date

Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe Concept

It’s a concept, so pricing details are still out of the question. VW claims that there are "no current plans for the CrossBlue Coupé to enter production," but we take that with a grain of salt, given its rather timid looks. The complex drivetrain may not make it into production, but we assume some form of it will find its way into the lineup.

Competition

BMW X6

BMW X6

If Volkswagen does decide do bring the CrossBlue Coupe Concept to production, you’re looking at a worth competitor to the BMW X6, one of the first models to feature the coupe-like SUV look that has become pretty popular within the auto circles.

While existing X6 models carry a multitude of powertrain options, the fact that the most powerful of them (sans the M badge) tops out at 405 horsepower, the CrossBlue Coupe Concept has a pretty unique advantage over its German rival.

But, and this is a big but, if the X6 does have a hybrid in the works as BMW has said it does, then that changes the equation a little bit.

Conclusion

Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe Concept

Hard to conclude on something that only has sketches to show for it. But it looks snazzy and in line with what we expect from a coupe-crossover so that’s a huge plus.

Rest assured we’ll have more to say about the CrossBlue Coupe Concept when Volkswagen reveals it at the Shanghai Auto Show.

LOVE IT
  • Awesome power
  • Electric-only power option
  • Superior mpg
LEAVE IT
  • VW claiming that there are no production plans
  • Super-complex drivetrain that would make any repairs outrageously expensive

Press Release

Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe Concept

Visitors to the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show will get a glimpse of the future design direction of Volkswagen SUVs, in the shape of the CrossBlue Coupé, which makes its debut there this week.

The five-seat CrossBlue Coupé is 4,889 mm long, 2,015 mm wide and just 1,679 mm high: dimensions that give it a low-profile, wide appearance (for comparison, Touareg: 4,795 / 1,940 / 1,732). Factor in the wide track (1,709 mm front, 1,726 mm rear), 2,980 mm wheelbase (Touareg 2,893) and 22-inch alloy wheels (with 285/44 tyres) and you have a car with a distinctively muscular and sporty appearance.

At the front, the radiator grille trim – consisting of two polished aluminium struts and the VW logo – is a 3D element extending into the headlights. The lateral ends of the upper strut are used for the daytime running lights, creating a distinctive light signature.

Along the side – under the steeply raked C-pillars – the ports for the fuel tank and battery were uniformly integrated into the design of the CrossBlue Coupé. As is usual with Volkswagen, the fuel filler neck is located under a lid on the right side of the vehicle, while the cover for the electrical outlet is located symmetrically on the left side. It consists of one socket for charging the high-voltage battery and another for connecting electric devices; this interface (16 A, 230 V) makes the CrossBlue Coupé a generator, too.

The prominent tailpipes are designed in stainless steel, and are integrated into a polished aluminium trim panel that runs horizontally along the back of the coupé. Beneath this is a rugged anthracite-coloured area, in which a stainless steel underbody protection panel has been designed, like at the front end. The boot lid opens and closes electrically, revealing a load space that can hold up to 1,101 litres of luggage (or 537 litres with all seats upright).

Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe Concept

As well showcasing the future for Volkswagen design, the CrossBlue Coupé also highlights future drivetrain possibilities, in this case a plug-in hybrid system consisting of a V6 turbocharged direct injection petrol engine and two electric motors (40 kW front and 85 kW rear), together producing up to 415 PS (305 kW). Via a six-speed DSG gearbox, that power enables this 4,889 mm-long SUV to accelerate like a sports car: zero to 62 mph takes a mere 5.9 seconds, and the top speed is 146 mph. Even with this level of performance, fuel economy is impressive with a combined cycle figure of 3.0 l/100 km, or 94.1 mpg. In hybrid mode, with a depleted battery powered by the TSI engine, the CrossBlue Coupé returns 6.9 l/100 km (40.9 mpg). This efficiency gives the CrossBlue Coupé, with its 80-litre fuel tank, a theoretical range of 1,190 km (740 miles).

The CrossBlue Coupé is based on Volkswagen’s new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) components set. This would give any production version a large amount of flexibility when it comes to potential power: conventional drive systems with four- or six-cylinder engines could also be used, configured for a variety of fuels (petrol, diesel, CNG).

The TSI engine produces 500 Nm (368 lbs ft) from just 1,800 rpm, while the electric motors produce their torque – 180 Nm (133 lbs ft) at the front and 270 Nm (199 lbs ft) at the rear – immediately. Combined, the system can produce up to 700 Nm (516 lbs ft).

Powered by its battery alone, the CrossBlue can cover up to 33 km/20 miles as an EV.
In E-mode, only the rear electric motor propels the vehicle and the TSI engine is shut off and decoupled. At up to 75 mph, the engine is not engaged as long as the battery has sufficient charge. As soon as there is a need for TSI power, it is coupled to the drivetrain again, within fractions of a second. The battery can be charged by external power sources or by the engine while the vehicle is moving.

Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe Concept

The driver can switch to a charging mode by pressing a button on the centre console.
The TSI engine charges the battery while driving to store enough electrical energy for EV operation later in the journey, for instance in an urban area. There are also a number of other modes, as detailed below.

Coasting: When the driver releases the accelerator pedal, the engine and electric motors are decoupled from the drivetrain, provided there is sufficient battery charge.
Battery regeneration: When the accelerator is released or the brakes applied, the electric motors act as generators and feed energy recovered from the brakes into the battery. In this case, the TSI is also shut off and decoupled from the drivetrain.
Boosting: When more performance is required, the electric motors form an alliance with the TSI engine known as ‘boosting’. In this mode, all four wheels are driven.
Off-road(‘propshaft by wire’): All four wheels are driven. In this case the front electric motor (supplied with energy by the TSI engine) operates as a generator and a power source for the electric motor at the rear.
TSI only: In this mode, the CrossBlue Coupé is a pure front-wheel-drive vehicle.
There are no current plans for the CrossBlue Coupé to enter production.

Key facts

  • Five-seat SUV concept
  • Innovative petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain offers fuel economy of
  • 3.0 l/100 km (94.1 mpg)
  • Concept is built using the MQB Modular Transverse Matrix components set
  • Range in all-electric mode is 20 miles
  • 415 PS; 700 Nm (516 lbs ft); 0 to 60 mph estimated at 5.9 seconds
  • Dimensions: length 4,889; width 2,015 mm; height 1,679 mm;
  • track widths: front/rear 1,709 mm/1,726 mm
  • Unladen weight: 2,220 kg (concept car with battery system)
  • Drive units / power / transmission: V6 TSI 220 kW; E-motors: front 40 kW, rear 85 kW; system power (TSI + battery) 305 kW; 6-speed DSG
  • Battery: eight lithium ion modules; energy capacity 9.8 kWh


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