Volkswagen’s concept of an “SUV of the future” is on display at this week’s Tokyo Motor Show. The Cross Coupé is an all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid that aims to cross the capacity of a compact SUV with the dynamic handling of a coupé.
The four-seat Cross Coupé has not one but three motors: in the front are a four-cylinder gas burner and a 40-kW electric motor, which work together like the usual happy hybrid couple. In the rear, an 85-kW electric motor is integrated as a co-axial drive unit into the rear axle assembly. This motor kicks in only in all-wheel drive or pure electric power mode. The 9.8 kWh lithium-ion battery is located inside the car’s center tunnel – where the drive shaft would be in an old-fashioned SUV. The low position of the battery and the compact layout of the drive system give the vehicle a low center of gravity for sporty handling.
VW claims a fuel efficiency of around 87 mpg, and an all-electric range of up to 27 miles. As befits a sporty coupé, it can do 0-60 mph in under 7 seconds, and go over 120 mph…but in electric mode, the top speed is electronically limited to 75 mph (darn!). The driver can select from three modes: City (minimal fuel consumption), Sport (dynamic driving) and Offroad (permanent all-wheel drive). Other high-tech goodies include a seven-speed direct shift gearbox, a user-programmable instrument display and LED fog lights.