All in blue, this German miss made her debut this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The CrossBlue concept is a midsize crossover SUV that Volkswagen developed for the North American market. Under the hood, she’s a plug-in hybrid with a diesel engine, two electric motors and an all-wheel-drive system.
The CrossBlue is based on Volkswagen’s new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) components set, which it says could underpin a future generation of SUVs. New components include the suspension, the 190-horsepower TDI Clean Diesel engine from the new EA288 family, and a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. The 9.8 kWh lithium-ion battery, which is located in the center tunnel, and the 54 hp front and 114 hp rear electric motors, are also made by Volkswagen.
The powerful powertrain can put out a total 305 hp and 516 pound-feet of torque, taking the CrossBlue from 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 7.2 seconds.
Range is 14 miles in all-electric mode. Volkswagen’s estimated fuel economy rating is 89 MPGe combined in electric mode and 35 MPG as a hybrid.
The interior sports six individual seats in three rows, plus a cargo area. There’s a 10.2-inch touchscreen up front, and iPad mini-monitors for the second-row passengers. The driver can choose from Eco, Sport, Offroad and EV modes, whose meanings should be familiar to any current PHEV enthusiast.
Here’s a nifty new feature: a built-in pair of electrical sockets, one for charging the battery, and one that can be used to connect electrical devices, allowing the CrossBlue to act as an auxiliary electrical generator.