At this year’s Detroit Motor Show, Volkswagen has shown a new compact crossover concept called the Cross Coupé GTE – an evolution of the two CrossBlue concepts showcased at Detroit and Shanghai respectively in 2013. The new one takes them closer to production form with more conventional elements and employs the new carmaker’s new design philosophy that we saw on the Passat B8. The flared wheel arches and the beefy air-dams give it a muscular stance.
That said, the concept would still take shape as a compact two-row crossover based on VW’s new MQB platform. At last year’s Paris Motor Show, Volkswagen told us that they want to have a presence in every possible sub-segment of the SUV range and this concept is a step in that direction.
Powering it is a 236PS 3.6-litre VR6 engine mated to two electric motors – a 54PS unit for the front axle and a 114PS one for the rear. Together, the setup is good for 355PS of power and a combined economy of over 15.5kmpl.
The plug-in hybrid powertrain offers various driving modes. In pure-electric mode, which only uses the rear electric motor, the Cross Coupé GTE can travel up to 32km. The hybrid mode makes use of the engine as well as the VR6 motor for optimised power and torque delivery and charges the batteries using regenerative braking. The GTE mode unlocks the full power of the petrol engine and the electric motors and optimises the transmission, steering and throttle response for more spirited driving.
There is an interesting off-road mode too where the engine powers the front wheels and the rear motor propels the rear axle. In case the battery power is low, the electric motor at the front is used as a generator for the rear motor. The drivetrain is good for a 0-100kmph sprint time of 6.0 seconds.