VW Crossblue concept – a closer look

Apparently the Touareg is not big enough for the folks at Volkswagen. The CrossBlue concept points to a new SUV that’s even longer than today’s Touareg. With a 4,987mm overall length and 2,980mm wheelbase, the CrossBlue is capable of accommodating three rows of seats; the Touareg has only two.

Although still billed as a concept, Volkswagen is reportedly keen on getting the CrossBlue into production since it holds a particular appeal for the North American market. Despite its larger size, it is hoped that the showroom-ready version of the CrossBlue will ditch the premium intentions of the Touareg (read: lower retail prices).

The American and Canadians still love big engines, but don’t forget that modern diesel counterparts are gradually becoming more popular in that part of the world, too. The CrossBlue concept points to a new mid-sized 4×4 with an economical diesel hybrid powertrain.

There’s an electric motor driving each axle, effectively making it 4WD. The transmission is a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic. According to VW, the CrossBlue can drive in pure electric mode for 33km, explaining why its total mileage _ when included with the diesel engine _ is an impressive 48kpl. VW suggests that fuel economy will still be rated at 20.5kpl when only the front wheels are being driven solely by the 190hp, 2.0-litre, diesel-turbo EA288 engine.

The CrossBlue would sound great as a lorry passenger vehicle (PPV) to rival the likes of the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Toyota Fortuner. BTW, ”PPV” is the official designation for lorry-based SUVs in Thailand.

The CrossBlue has a seating matrix that’s a step ahead of the Trailblazer: the front passenger seat can fold flat in addition to the seats in the second and third rows.

Then there are the posh materials used for its interior which would certainly make lorry-based SUVs look rather drab in comparison.

Sadly, however, there’s no chance that the CrossBlue will have any links with the nonexistent SUV derivative of VW’s Amarok lorry.

It has a modern unibody construction based on VW’s latest MQB platform that is said to be so flexible that it can also be used on small cars like the Polo. Such bodies allow for enhanced driving dynamics; that is, a less compromised ride and handling on-road.

Body-on-frame chassis like those used in the so-called PPVs are derived from lorries and feel less sturdy on the tarmac. The only advantage of this traditional floorplan is for off-roading _ if you ever need it.