The 2015 North American International Motor Show in Detroit saw Volkswagen debut its Cross Coupe GTE Concept. The Cross Coupe GTE is the third concept from Volkswagen previewing its upcoming , 7 -seat, production crossover, and as such it bears a resemblance to the original CrossBlue and the CrossBlue Coupe shown at the 2013 Los Angeles show.
In its third iteration, the front end gives a better idea of what to expect from the production seven-seater when it commences production at VW’s Chattanooga plant by the end of 2016. The imposing, twin slat grille is flanked by slim all-LED illumination, while the concept’s overhangs give it off-road-worthy ramp break-over, approach, and departure angles. Aggressive front bumper work reminisces the Mercedes-AMG style, while at the back there are Volvo-style horizontal taillights and a skid-plate with an integrated diffuser. The crossover rides on 22-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 285/40-size tires.
The interiors of the Cross Coupe GTE also previews VW’s future design language, and draws inspiration from the German Bauhaus design movement. Like on the Gold R Touch concept showcased at CES 2015, nearly all controls are implemented via touchscreens and sensor switches. While the center console is dominated by a large 10.1-inch touchscreen, the conventional instrument cluster goes for a toss and has also been replaced by another 12.3-inch screen with 1440×540 pixel resolution, which Volkswagen calls the Active Info Display.
The gesture control functionality from the Golf R Touch has also been implemented here, with proximity sensors placed in the cabin to pick up specific movements. For example, passengers can swipe through the air to browse and play songs. Depending on the driving profile selected (Snow, Sport, On-Road, or Off-Road), the look of the screen and graphics will change. Navigation can be displayed in two or three dimensions. With the 3D view selected, three or more maps can float above one another, each showing something different — from Points of Interest to directions to altitude. The instrument display is a 12.3-inch screen , and graphics that change depending on mode selected.
The VW Cross Coupe GTE concept is a sporty plug-in hybrid, and uses a 3.6-liter VR6 narrow-angle V-6 producing 276 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It is joined by a couple of electric motors, making 54 hp and 162 lb-ft in the front; and 114 hp and 199 lb-ft in the rear. Combined system output is 355 hp and 280 lb-ft, endowing acceleration to 60 mph from a standstill in 6.0 seconds, and on to a top speed of 130 mph. Instead of housing a driveshaft, the center tunnel holds a compact 14.1-kWh lithium-ion battery. However, Volkswagen maintains that the concept still utilizes an “electric driveshaft” thanks to the rear-motor all-wheel-drive setup. VW estimates fuel economy of 70 MPGe.