Volkswagen has rolled out a new SUV concept, its fifth in four years, at this week’s Detroit Auto Show.
The ‘Cross’ concepts in particular are believed to offer a realistic preview of what we can expect from VW’s next-generation SUV models, including a new seven-seater destined for the North American market.
In GTE form, the new look moves closer to production readiness, with only the finely detailed headlight design and oversized sports wheels likely to be toned down ahead of an expected 2016 market launch.
It’s unclear if the Cross Coupe GTE is a preview of any specific model, although the next Touareg is a likely contender for most of this concept’s design tricks.
The cabin of the new SUV concept is likely also a preview of things to come, with little about its design not already suitable for production.
As previewed with the new Passat range, the Cross Coupe GTE benefits from a big 12.3 inch full-digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, along with a pair of large displays in the centre stack.
Also lending credibility to the suggestion of a new Touareg is the Cross Coupe GTE’s five-seat layout and large dimensions.
Measuring 4846mm in overall length, the Cross Coupe GTE is around 50mm longer than the current second-generation Touareg.
As the ‘GTE’ name suggests, power in this concept is provided by a petrol-electric hybrid system that mates a 205kW/350Nm 3.6 litre V6 to a pair of electric motors and a six-speed DSG auto.
The first of the electric motors, a 40kW/219Nm unit, assists the big V6 in driving the front wheels, while the 85kW/269Nm second motor powers the rear wheels.
Energy for the electric motors is provided by a 14.1kWh lithium-ion battery packaged in the transmission tunnel, contributing to an all-electric driving range of around 32 kilometres.
As with similar concepts and production models, the Cross Coupe GTE offers all-electric, combined and ‘Battery Charge’ driving modes.
On the performance front, Volkswagen claims a 0-96km/h (0-60mph) time of just 6.0 seconds, making the big SUV a fairly sporting thing.
Watch for a new Touareg to appear sometime in late 2016 or early 2017, around the same time as the new seven-seat SUV and a new Tiguan.