About a year before the roll-out of the production version of its CrossBlue Concept sport utility vehicle, Volkswagen is reportedly ready to show a five-seat concept version at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
According to Reuters, the new crossover will be approved for production for the 2016 or 2017 model year, and it will be built alongside the larger still-unnamed SUV at VW’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant.
Volkswagen showed a sportier utility vehicle concept built on the Golf platform at the Shanghai Motor Show back in April 2013. The concept was called the CrossBlue Coupe and was roughly the size of an Audi Q3. It may be the vehicle to be shown in Detroit (appropriately updated, of course, since the same concept was shown at the Los Angeles show later that year), although the company would have to revise its plans if it is.
At the time of the CrossBlue Coupe introduction, Volkswagen officials told Autoweek magazine that the company felt there was a market demand for both the more traditional CrossBlue sport utility vehicle and a sportier version like the CrossBlue Coupe, as it looked toward capturing a broader section of the SUV market in North America.
But back then, Volkswagen told the magazine that it intended to take the vehicle into production in 2015. So if the vehicle to be shown in Detroit is a nearer-to-production version of this vehicle, then Volkswagen may have reconsidered its decision to release the five-seat and the seven-seat versions at the same time.
The concept shown in China was powered by a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 and two electric motors, making a combined output of more than 400 hp and over 500 lb.ft. of torque. Volkswagen has indicated the production versions of the CrossBlues would be powered by four-cylinder engines or V6s or diesels, and the lineup would also likely include an electric hybrid (possibly a plug-in). The concept’s six-speed dual clutch transmission would also likely be the shifter of choice for the production vehicle.
The sleek and sporty CrossBlue Coupe is marginally larger than the current Touareg, though that vehicle is destined to be bigger when it is redesigned, likely for the 2017 model year.