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by Tim Beissmann

The Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE concept been unveiled on the eve of the North American International Auto Show, offering the latest preview of the brand’s future mid-size SUV model series.

The Cross Coupe GTE is an evolution of the CrossBlue Coupe concept that debuted in Shanghai in April, which was itself a spin-off of the seven-seat CrossBlue concept from last January’s Detroit show.

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The new concept shares design cues with Volkswagen’s Golf GTE and Passat GTE production cars, sporting restyled headlights that flow into a bold two-slat grille, a revised lower front bumper with a stylised intake blade, newly flared rear wheels arches, reshaped tail-lights and rear bumper, and cleaner bodywork that trades the earlier concept’s hard-wearing plastics and metals for body-colour panels.

New Grand Pacific Glacier blue paint and polished 22-inch alloy wheels inject extra freshness to the exterior, which boasts proportions similar to the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe.

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The five-seat cabin also gets a design language upgrade, highlighted by the use of consistent horizontal structures, seamlessly integrated displays and chrome elements, and interactive gesture controls.

Powering the Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE concept is a 3.6-litre V6 and two electric motors. The direct-injection petrol engine produces 206kW and 350Nm, while the electric motors – positioned on the front and rear axles – have outputs of 40kW/220Nm and 85kW/270Nm respectively.

Volkswagen claims a total hybrid system output of 265kW and 500Nm, helping the Cross Coupe GTE from 0-60mph (0-96.6km/h) in 6.0 seconds and on to a top speed of 209km/h, while its 14.1kWh lithium-ion battery pack allows it to travel up to 32km on electric power.

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A six-speed dual-clutch transmission can send power to the front, rear or all four wheels and facilitates five distinct driving modes: E-mode, Hybrid, GTE, Off-road, and Battery Hold/Battery Charge.

Drivers can also select between four driving ‘profiles’, On-road, with Comfort and Eco sub-modes; Off-road, with Gravel, Rocks, Sand and Sludge sub-modes; Sport; and Snow.

A production version of the 4847mm-long Cross Coupe GTE concept is expected to slot beneath the larger seven-seat model based on the CrossBlue concept in Volkswagen’s next-generation SUV range that will roll out progressively over the coming years.




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