VW CrossBlue Coupé concept offers SUV styling and drivetrain pointers
Have you been pondering what the next generation Volkswagen Touareg might look like? So have we, but visitors to the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show will get a glimpse of future Volkswagen SUV styling thanks to the CrossBlue Coupé concept.
The five-seat CrossBlue Coupé is 4,889 mm long, 2,015 mm wide and just 1,679 mm high (for comparison, Touareg: 4,795 / 1,940 / 1,732). Factor in the wide track, a 2,980 mm wheelbase (Touareg 2,893) and 22-inch alloy wheels and you have a car that’s both muscular- and sporty-looking.
At the front, the radiator grille trim – comprising two polished aluminium struts and the VW logo – is a 3D element extending into the headlights. The lateral ends of the upper strut are used for the daytime running lights.
As well showcasing the future for Volkswagen design, the CrossBlue Coupé also hints at future drivetrain possibilities, in this case a plug-in hybrid system consisting of a V6 turbocharged direct injection petrol engine and two electric motors (40 kW front and 85 kW rear), together producing up to 415 PS (305 kW). This combination of an internal combustion engine and two electric motors is one which some observers believe will provide the stepping stone that will bridge the considerable gap between fossil fuel- and full electric motoring.
VW says that via a six-speed DSG gearbox, that 415 PS enables this 4.9m-long SUV to accelerate like a sports car: with 0 to 62 mph despatched in a mere 5.9 seconds, and a top speed of 146 mph. It’s all theoretical of course, as is fuel economy: a combined cycle figure of 3.0 l/100 km, or 94.1 mpg. In hybrid mode, with a depleted battery powered by the TSI engine, the CrossBlue Coupé returns 6.9 l/100 km (40.9 mpg) giving the CrossBlue Coupé, with its 80-litre fuel tank, a theoretical range of 1,190 km (740 miles).
The CrossBlue Coupé is based on Volkswagen’s new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) components set. This would give any production version a large amount of flexibility when it comes to potential power: conventional drive systems with four- or six-cylinder engines could also be used, configured for a variety of fuels (petrol, diesel, CNG).
The TSI engine produces 500 Nm (368 lbs ft) from just 1,800 rpm, while the electric motors produce their torque – 180 Nm (133 lbs ft) at the front and 270 Nm (199 lbs ft) at the rear – immediately. Combined, the system can produce up to 700 Nm (516 lbs ft).
Powered by its battery alone, the CrossBlue can cover up to 33 km/20 miles as an EV.
In E-mode, only the rear electric motor propels the vehicle and the TSI engine is shut off and decoupled. At up to 75 mph, the engine is not engaged as long as the battery has sufficient charge. As soon as there is a need for TSI power, it is coupled to the drivetrain again, within fractions of a second. The battery can be charged by external power sources or by the engine while the vehicle is moving.
The driver can switch to a charging mode by pressing a button on the centre console.
The TSI engine charges the battery while driving to store enough electrical energy for EV operation later in the journey, for instance in an urban area. There are also a number of other modes, as detailed below.
- Coasting: When the driver releases the accelerator pedal, the engine and electric motors are decoupled from the drivetrain, provided there is sufficient battery charge.
- Battery regeneration: When the accelerator is released or the brakes applied, the electric motors act as generators and feed energy recovered from the brakes into the battery. In this case, the TSI is also shut off and decoupled from the drivetrain.
- Boosting: When more performance is required, the electric motors form an alliance with the TSI engine known as ‘boosting’. In this mode, all four wheels are driven.
- Off-road(‘propshaft by wire’): All four wheels are driven. In this case the front electric motor (supplied with energy by the TSI engine) operates as a generator and a power source for the electric motor at the rear.
- TSI only: In this mode, the CrossBlue Coupé is a pure front-wheel-drive vehicle.
But as ever, the most important part of the Volkswagen press statement comes right at the end: There are no current plans for the CrossBlue Coupé to enter production.