autoevolution

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE Concept Up Close and Personal at Detroit Auto Show

This year's edition of the Detroit Auto Show was to Ford what last year’s Paris Motor Show was to the Volkswagen Group. Heck, the Blue Oval took the stage burnouting the beejesus out of the Shelby GT350R Mustang. Still, Volkswagen’s stand at Detroit grabbed our attention by the neck because of the futuristic Cross Coupe GTE Concept SUV.
Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE Concept @ 2015 Detroit Auto Show 80 photos
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Approaching the five-seater mid-size SUV concept vehicle was a bit like stepping into Narnia. I’m not a big fan of recent Volkswagen products, nor the all-new Audi Q7, but this luxobarge here made me eat my words because once you look at it, it’s hard not to fall in love with its angular exterior styling.

That sloping roofline and dramatically raked rear windshield renders its profile athletic and dynamic, while the silver inserts and black cladding adds up to its muscularity. Another aspect that bewitched us comes in the form of the minimalist design of the full-LED headlights and the silver moustache over the black-painted mesh of the lower grille.

Ladies and gents, say hello to the future of VW


As a true fan of minimalist automotive design, the supple taillight clusters and the horizontal chrome-plated trim running across the tailgate are personal exterior styling highlights of the Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE Concept. Furthermore, integrating the tail pipes into the rear bumper is also pretty neat in my book. I’m well aware this is but a concept car, but it’s ten classes higher than the 2015 Audi Q7.

Once you open the rather light driver’s door and hop into the seat, it’s surprising how good your rear feels thanks to the generous cushioning and the buttery quality of the leather upholstery. But the interior isn’t just a case of great seats. In fact, the 12.3-inch instrument cluster baptized Active Info Display, the wacky shape of the air vents and the bulky shifter also add a touch of uniqueness.

In our live photo gallery below, there are a few pics of the trunk. Yup, it’s as cavernous as it gets for a vehicle such as this, but there’s another detail that needs to be pointed out. This concept previews an all-new US-bound design language for VW, which confirmed that its Chattanooga factory in TN will start assembly of a new seven-seater mid-size SUV at the end of 2016. Are you excited or what?

Last but not least, the powertrain is also a strong point and a technical showcase. Starting from a 3.6-liter VR6 (yes, VW may bring back the VR6!) lump with 276 HP and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft), the plug-in hybrid AWD concept car is further animated by two electric motors, rated 54 HP and 114 HP. This setup is good enough for a run to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 6 seconds and an electric driving range of 20 miles (32 km).

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