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by Tim Beissmann

Volkswagen Australia is committed to bringing the seven-seat Volkswagen CrossBlue to our market if its German parent approves the new SUV for right-hand-drive production.

Volkswagen Australia managing director Anke Koeckler told CarAdvice the local brand has put its hand up for a right-hand-drive version of the CrossBlue, which debuted in concept form at last month’s Detriot auto show and is scheduled to reach left-hand-drive markets around 2015.

“[CrossBlue] is certainly a car we will be looking into … if we get the opportunity to bring it to our market,” Koeckler said.

“For the time being it’s just being developed as a left-hand [drive], but we are asking for it, certainly, because we see potential for this car for the Australian market.”

At 5.0m long, the Volkswagen CrossBlue concept is larger than Volkswagen’s existing Tiguan (4.4m) and Touareg (4.8m) SUVs, but is set to be priced somewhere between the two – with a likely starting price of around $40,000 – to make it more accessible to large families.

Koeckler was adamant there was room in the current line-up for a larger seven-seat SUV.

“There’s space [between Tiguan and Touareg]. We can see it.

“We have some competitors who are selling a significant amount of seven-seaters,” she said, highlighting the Ford Territory and Toyota Kluger as two key targets.

The Territory and Kluger were the fourth- and fifth-best-selling SUVs in Australia last year – achieving 14,646 and 13,239 sales respectively – and both are available with the option of seven seats.

Neither the Tiguan nor the Touareg is available as a seven-seater, leaving the task of people-moving in Volkswagen’s local line-up to the Caddy, which starts at $39,990 for the TDI250, and the Multivan and Caravelle vans, which are both priced from $49,990.

The Volkswagen CrossBlue concept is underpinned by the VW Group’s versatile new MQB platform – the same one that underpins the Golf Mk7 and the new Audi A3.

The concept, which appeared in Detroit as a six-seater, offers 335 litres of cargo space behind the rear seats, 812 litres with the third-row folded forward, and a van-like 2000 litres with both rear seating rows pushed forwards.

China and North America are tipped to be the first markets to receive the CrossBlue when it launches by mid-decade.




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