On Monday, Volkswagen of America introduced the CrossBlue SUV concept at the North American International Auto Show.
At the heart of the CrossBlue concept resides its main attraction. The crossover runs on a unique TDI Clean Diesel-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain, which offers an estimated 35 MPG combined, 89 MPG in electric mode, and a 14-mile range using only its 9.8-kWh lithium-ion battery. While efficiency is the name of CrossBlue's game, the crossover also boasts an impressive 305 hp and 526 lb-ft of torque, which allows the CrossBlue Concept to travel from 0 to 60 mph is 7.2 seconds.
The CrossBlue is 196.3 inches long, 79.3 inches wide, and 68.2 inches high. It sports a set of 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and flared wheel arches. Painted in metallic blue, or "CrossBlue Glass Flake" as VW dubs it, the concept possesses a long hood with a long roofline to match. Keeping with its Volkswagen design heritage, horizontal lines frame the CrossBlue's muscular silhouette and minute details are placed carefully throughout the vehicle. The grille juts out from front, framing the LED headlights and giving the CrossBlue a masculine, angular profile. Fuel doors grace each side of the CrossBlue – one door covering the gasket for the diesel tank and another door covering two electric sockets.
Inside, the CrossBlue concept fits six passengers comfortably by way of its raised, stadium style seating arrangement. However, a possible production option would allow for the second row to provide three seats instead of two, making the CrossBlue a full seven-seater. The seats and other accoutrements are decked in soft leather and wood accents, while the controls are fitted in sporty aluminum fixtures. At the centre of the console is a 10.2-inch touchscreen, which controls both the infotainment features and the hybrid/electric functions. All tactile buttons (with the exception of the hazard switch) are "soft-touch components" that mimic the same feel as the central touchscreen. The entertainment accessories on the CrossBlue are impressive. A set of iPad minis recessed into the front row head restraints and a Fender Premium Audio System ensures that backseat passengers will be thoroughly entertained.
The Volkswagen CrossBlue concept was designed specifically for the U.S. and Canadian markets. It manages to successfully marry the manly good looks of the SUV, the utilitarianism of the minivan, and the eco-friendliness of the hybrid/electric vehicle. All in all, the CrossBlue concept looks like an American dream, but from a German dreamweaver.