Volkswagen is preparing a production version of its CrossBlue SUV concept, and the German giant’s Australian arm wants to bring it here.
Local Volkswagen MD Anke Koeckler spoke with TMR of plans for the new model, which could at last give the company an answer for buyers seeking a seven-seat SUV.
While the CrossBlue concept features a six-seat layout (a result of its hybrid system packaging), Ms Koeckler confirmed that the production model will utilise a more conventional seven-seat configuration.
Volkswagen’s pricey Touareg SUV is limited to five seats, meaning that a more affordable CrossBlue would better tackle the Ford Territory, Toyota Kluger, Holden Captiva 7, and the Hyundai Santa Fe/Kia Sorento twins.
However, the CrossBlue’s focus on the SUV-hungry US market could limit the production version to left-hand drive only, precluding Australian availability.
It appears that a decision on the model’s right-hand drive potential will be made soon, despite the CrossBlue concept being unveiled just weeks ago.
“Next week we are heading off (overseas), and presenting our case. We see potential for this car,” Ms Koeckler said.
The production CrossBlue's shared platform also means the decision to build right-hand drive versions will likely be based on sales potential and production capacity, rather than engineering concerns.
Ms Koeckler added that the South African market will also be key to demonstrating this sales potential, along with the also right-hand drive UK.
If a right-hook CrossBlue does score a green light for production, local sales would likely begin after the US model’s 2015 expected launch date.
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