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Volkswagen has released the first details and images of the new Volkswagen Cross Caddy ahead of its launch in Europe early in 2013.

The Cross Caddy will join other off-road-themed Volkswagen ‘Cross’ models in Europe including the Polo, Golf and Touran nameplates.

The beefed-up Caddy is based on the Volkswagen Caddy Edition 30 that launches at the Australian international motor show in Sydney next month.

Sporting a tougher look than the standard model, the Volkswagen Cross Caddy is armed with plastic protectors for the wheel arches, bumpers and side sills.

There are also front and rear metallic strips that add to the Cross Caddy’s cosmetic protection pack.

It’s a more an exercise in style than substance, although the Cross Caddy will also be available with Volkswagen’s 4Motion four-wheel drive system and a dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission for those determined to test it away from the bitumen.

Additional features include newly designed 17-inch alloy wheels, tinted glass and silver roof rails.

Inside there’s a two-tone green/grey front seat design, an adjustable central armrest and grey stitching for the leather steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake lever.

Volkswagen will launch the Cross Caddy in Europe in both five- and seven-seat configurations with a range of petrol and diesel engines along with natural gas and LPG versions.

Volkswagen Australia told CarAdvice it has no plans to sell the Cross Caddy down under.