Mike Stevens | Mar 5, 2012

Volkswagen's Cross Coupe concept goes diesel-electric for Geneva. Could a market debut be on the horizon?

Most production hybrids are built around the pairing of an electric motor with a petrol engine. You'll sometimes find more than one motor, and occasionally the engine will be a big ol' V8, but the petrol factor is almost always a constant.

So, what of diesel?

Peugeot Citroen's Hybrid4 system and the recently-revealed Mercedes-Benz E 300 Bluetec are the standout examples in the small diesel-electric hybrid arena, with the former already on the international market and the latter coming soon.

Volkswagen has also tinkered with the concept, with the XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle pairing a small 800cc two-cylinder turbodiesel with a 20kW electric motor.

Combined with the benefit of the concept's 795kg kerb weight, Volkswagen says the hybrid pairing will return fuel consumption figures of just 0.9 l/100km.

This week, the German giant will reveal a "new" diesel-electric concept at the Geneva Motor Show, in the form of the Cross Coupe.

You'll remember the car from its Tokyo Motor Show debut last year, but back then it was driven by a more traditional petrol-electric hybrid system.

2012 volkswagen cross coupe diesel hybrid concept 06

This time, the Cross Coupe gets a new splash of paint, and a vastly improved fuel economy.

Where the earlier concept paired its two electric motors with a 85kW petrol engine for a fuel consumption rating of 2.7 l/100km, this new one will pair a small diesel (specs haven't been released) to return a 1.8 l/100km rating.

Is Volkswagen building toward the debut of a sportier new SUV, or a new (and slightly longer) Tiguan?

While a replacement for the Tiguan will be on the horizon, it remains to be seen if the Cross Coupe - which is built on Volkswagen's new MQB family platform - offers any hints of its styling. Only time will tell.

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