Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE Plug-In Hybrid Makes World Debut At 2015 NAIAS


Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE

Volkswagen announced that is preparing to launch at the end of 2016 one of its most important new models in the past five decades (will be built in Chattanooga, Tennessee): a seven-seater mid-size SUV.

The introduction is preceded by presentation of a series of concept vehicles and after the CrossBlue presented in Detroit in January 2013 and the CrossBlue Coupe most recently shown in Los Angeles in November 2013, now it’s time for the Cross Coupe GTE.

It’s five-seater plug-in hybrid vehicle based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB) architecture, which enables to produce cars with different drivetrains. Volkswagen expect that Cross Coupe GTE will achieve a fuel economy rating of 70 MPGe.

Klaus Bischoff, chief designer at Volkswagen stated:

“The Cross Coupe GTE is the ambassador of a new design language developed by Volkswagen for the U.S. The concept car has a commanding presence; it is powerful with a look that could almost be described as aggressive.”

“Numerous details hint at how we envision a future production SUV model for North America. The underlying concept combines German engineering and design with a vehicle that suits the American lifestyle. That means high efficiency, clear and powerful design, logical operation and supreme quality—combined with lots of space, superior performance, and outstanding comfort.”

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE

On the powertrain side we see a 3.6-liter V6 gasoline engine in the front and two electric motors – one per axle. Combined power stands at 355 hp and 280 ft-lbs of torque. Enough to reach 130 mph (209 km/h) and 0 to 60 mph in 6 seconds.

ICE has 276 hp / 258 ft-lbs (350 Nm), while the front electric motor puts out 54 hp (40 kW) / 162 ft-lbs (220 Nm) and the rear electric motor cranks out 114 hp (85 kW) /199 ft-lbs (270 Nm).

The lithium-ion battery pack housed in the center tunnel stores 14.1 kWh, which according to Volkswagen will be enough for 20 miles (32 km) in all-electric mode, in which only the rear electric motor drives the car.

Interesting is the Off-road mode, which turns the front electric motor into a generator that supplies electrons for the rear motor for AWD even when the battery pack is depleted.

Inside, VW implemented interactive gesture control for the instrument panel.

More information in the press blast. Further live photos and videos coming soon.

VW Cross Coupe GTE From NAIAS 2015 Today

VW Cross Coupe GTE From NAIAS 2015 Today

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE

The Cross Coupe GTE, which is painted in Grand Pacific Glacier blue, has an even stronger presence than the concept cars unveiled in 2013. Although all three SUVs were based on the Volkswagen design DNA and have styling features in common, the Cross Coupe GTE’s detailing marks a break with the previous concept cars and thus increases the momentum towards series production.

The concept car now presented in Detroit is 190.8 inches long, 79.9 inches wide and 68.3 inches high. Klaus Bischoff says: “The car makes a visual statement from every angle. Regardless of whether you imagine the Cross Coupe GTE in Manhattan, driving along the Pacific Coast Highway in California or in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, this SUV looks upscale everywhere.”

The powerful exterior design is characterized by a very clear and logical line structure. The precise edges of the long hood look like they have been cut with a laser. The headlights, turn signals and the radiator grille merge together seamlessly, with two aluminum bars (polished at the front, brushed on top) forming the basic structure of the radiator grille.

The design of the lower air inlet is just as striking as that of the radiator grille. The outside is framed by high-gloss black trim, with a polished aluminum insert on the inside that mirrors the corresponding elements on the radiator grille. The LED dual headlights are a particularly striking and distinctive feature, with the outer modules generating the low beam, while the inner ones provide the high beam. The distinctive Daytime Running Light signature will also be seen in future production models. This consists of the four LED headlights and four “LED light wings”, two of which are in the radiator grille and two in the lower air intake.

The sharp front ridge of the hood forms a line that extends over the front fenders and below the windows to the tailgate. Another strong character line is formed at a lower level between the wheelarches and incorporates the door handles. Like the entire car, the side profile itself has powerful proportions and an upscale appearance. The combination of an A-pillar that is set a long way back and emphasizes the raised hood, the strikingly sloped C-pillar, and the short overhangs give the design a sporty yet rugged appearance. The overhangs also give the vehicle very competitive ramp breakover, approach and departure angles for excellent off-road performance.

The wheelarches emphasize the power and the physical presence of the SUV, and give it an extremely confident stance. The wheelarch on the driver’s side houses the service flap for the charging plug for the lithium-ion battery and the passenger side has the fuel filler flap. The 22-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, shod with 285/40 tires, have 10 highly polished spokes.

At the rear, the side character line feature merges into a polished aluminum trim strip, above which are trapezoidal LED taillights. The Cross Coupe GTE also follows the new Volkswagen design language for the U.S. at the back, with a focus on clearly defined horizontal line structures. The striking design of the rear lights, the strict horizontal look of the tailgate and an aluminum panel extending right across the bumper follow this language. A skidplate with an integrated diffuser forms the final major design element at the back of the SUV.

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE

The Cross Coupe GTE not only previews future Volkswagen SUV exterior design—it also shows how Volkswagen designers envision a mid-size SUV interior of tomorrow. This look ahead reveals the consistent further development of two key features of Volkswagen interiors. The first is the clear, horizontal orientation of the interior architecture, especially the control panel.

The second characteristic feature of every Volkswagen interior is the self-explanatory and intuitive operation of all elements and systems. Volkswagen will retain this in the age of interactive information and control systems. In the Cross Coupe GTE, the combination of gloss black applications with the seamlessly integrated displays and chrome elements creates a striking new interior design language that is clearly influenced by the German Bauhaus movement.

Under the windshield, the concept car features an Ink Blue Nappa leather border that matches the Grand Pacific Glacier exterior paintwork. Like a wing, the information and control level extends across the whole width of the car. On the outside of the instrument panel, there are two horizontal polished aluminum air vents. The 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen, which is integrated in the middle of the control panel, is framed by two sets of vertical air vents on either side.

The whole area boasts a completely new architecture so that the infotainment and instrument panel appear to be a single unit. All functions are controlled via touchscreen. This high-end digital world is capped by an Active Info Display, with displays that can be individually set by the driver.

The driver and front passenger can manage all infotainment functions and the basic vehicle configuration via the 10.1-inch touchscreen, using proximity sensors and gesture control. Gesture control is a completely new feature, and allows occupants to swipe over a playlist from some distance away to browse and play tunes.

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE

The layout of the graphics changes depending on the selected driving profile—Snow, Sport, On-road and Off-road. Furthermore, navigation data can be displayed in a two-dimensional or three-dimensional form. In the 3-D view the user can configure the display individually at three or even more levels that float above one another in a virtual space. They all show the map with the position of the vehicle but with different information: if the driver has configured the Points-of-Interest (POI), the middle level has geographic information such as the current altitude while the bottom Car level has the route and position. The levels can be freely moved from the top to the bottom, but individual settings are always made on the top level.

The 12.3-inch instrumentation screen has a conventional shape, but all the information shown is digital. The 1,440 x 540 pixel resolution gives extremely high-quality interactive graphic presentation of all details. Individual interactions/graphics are allocated to different basic functions. The graphics change, for example depending on the drive mode selected, such as E-Mode or GTE, and information such as driving, navigation and assistance functions can be integrated in the area as required.

A brushed aluminum horizontal strip runs across the whole width of the interior below the infotainment screen and instrument cluster. A touchscreen below this strip is used to control the climate control, including the heated and cooled seats. The shift lever for the 6-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission always remains in a central position, like a joystick. A quick click activates the R, N and D modes; a separate button, integrated in the lever, switches to P. The rotary driving profile selector for the On-road, Off-road, Sport and Snow profiles is housed behind the shift lever and uses lightpipe elements (transparent, perfused with LED light) that are fully in keeping with the modern look of the interior. Black hard keys take care of the ESC, E-Mode and GTE-Mode, while aluminum is used for the start/stop button.

The seats feature elegant bi-color semi-aniline Nappa leather surfaces, with perforated leather in the center that creates a visual link to the aluminum covers on the high-end speakers in the doors. The rear seat bench has a two-third/one-third split fold, resulting in a continuous cargo floor. The rear-seat climate control is also controlled via a touchscreen. Attachments for tablets are incorporated in the headrests of the rear seats and the Volkswagen Media Control app enables them to access the radio, media sources, and navigation via Wi-Fi.

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE

Thanks to the modular transverse matrix (MQB) architecture, Volkswagen can not only offer a vehicle with conventional gasoline and diesel engines, but can produce them as plug-in hybrids, with natural gas powertrains, and as zero tailpipe emissions electric and fuel cell vehicles. This means that the Cross Coupe GTE, too, can be produced with every conceivable powertrain.

The SUV concept is powered by a 3.6-liter VR6® gasoline engine and two electric motors. The six-cylinder direct-injection engine (FSI) delivers 276 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The two electric motors produce 54 hp and 162 lb-ft (front) and 114 hp and 199 lb-ft (rear). They are powered by a compact lithium-ion battery housed in the center tunnel, which is rated at 14.1 kWh. The total output of the drive system adds up to 355 hp and 280 lb-ft, enough to power the Cross Coupe GTE onto a top speed of 130 mph and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.0 seconds.

The Cross Coupe GTE features a number of driving profiles: On-road (with Comfort and Eco sub-modes), Off-road (with Rocks, Sludge & Sand and Gravel), Sport and Snow. The profiles change the setup of the SUV. There are also five drive modes: E-Mode; Hybrid; GTE; Off-road; and Battery Hold / Battery Charge.

E-Mode. Thanks to the lithium-ion battery, the Cross Coupe GTE can travel up to 20 miles as an EV. In E-Mode, the 114-hp rear electric motor drives the vehicle and the VR6 engine is shut down and decoupled from the drivetrain by disengaging the clutch. As soon as the gasoline engine needs to be restarted due, for instance, to the battery charge status, it re-engages smoothly in a fraction of a second. Power electronics manage the flow of high-voltage energy from and to the battery and to the electric motors. The 12-volt electrical system is supplied by a DC/DC converter. The battery is charged via external power sources or while driving.

Hybrid. The concept car starts in Hybrid Mode by default. The Cross Coupe GTE is then a classical full hybrid that charges the battery via regenerative braking and automatically uses the VR6 engine and/or the electric motor depending on the drive situation. In this mode, the battery state of charge is kept constant; the driver can actively influence this by using the battery hold function.

  • Coasting: As soon as the driver takes his or her foot off the accelerator and the battery is sufficiently charged, the gasoline engine and electric motors are shut down and disengaged from the drivetrain.
  • Recuperation Mode: If the driver removes his or her foot from the accelerator or brakes when the battery is not sufficiently charged, both electric motors work as generators and feed the energy generated during braking to the lithium-ion battery. In this case, too, the VR6 engine is shut down and disengaged.
  • Driving with the VR6 engine: When the gasoline engine alone is powering the vehicle, the concept car is purely front-wheel drive to achieve excellent fuel economy.

GTE. The driver uses the GTE button to switch to the most dynamic side of the vehicle. This makes the throttle, transmission and steering characteristics even sportier. In addition, the VR6 engine and the electric motors work together to deliver the full system output and the maximum system torque.

Off-road. All four wheels are powered as soon as the driver activates this mode. In this case (and when the battery charge is low), the front electric motor is employed exclusively as a generator that is driven by the gasoline engine in order to provide the power for its counterpart at the rear axle. As the power to drive the rear axle flows electronically, the all-wheel-drive system is referred to as an “electric driveshaft”. Since the VR6 engine drives the rear electric motor via the front motor in Off-road Mode, all-wheel drive is available even when the battery has a low state of charge and the car is running as a plug-in-hybrid.

Battery Charge/Battery Hold. The dual-mode Battery Hold (energy content of the battery stays constant) and Battery Charge (battery is charged whilst driving) is activated via a sub-menu in the infotainment system. It serves to hold the vehicle in E-Mode, for example, when the driver knows they are about to enter an urban area.”

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE

Category: VW


20 responses to "Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE Plug-In Hybrid Makes World Debut At 2015 NAIAS"
  1. Mikael says:

    14,1 kWh and 32 km electric range? Someone must have missed something somewhere.

    1. pjwood says:

      It actually works perfect, not for how long you’ll be in EV mode but:

      32km = 20mi NEDC. 20mi NEDC = ~14 EPA
      It should be higher than the Cayenne’s 14 mile EPA rating, but the miles/kwh are about the same, sorry to say:

      1. Mikael says:

        Let’s say they used 3 kWh as a buffert (upper limit) and used a Tesla style 2 kWh per 10 km it should be at least 50 km real world and 80 km or so in the very soft NEDC testing.

        Especially since it’s powered by a 114 hp Leaf-ish electric motor.

        It might be correct, but it’s horrible poor then.

        1. pjwood says:

          It’s a 7-seater. There’s no weight I could find, but puzzling that it could get so close to 1:1, miles to kwh. It could be tuned more to share the load, with the ICE, rather than give ~2.5 tons decent all-electric dynamics. I remember we speculated the Chrysler T&C’s ~5kwh was only going to fill that role.

          I guess I can imagine a Volt with 1,500 more pounds a little easier than a Tesla with only 14kwh. But that’s the concept, if you aren’t looking at this as a gas car.

          Here, I’ll play DaveMart:
          “The car is meant for the Chinese and European markets, where drivers only go 14 miles, in cities.” Was I close?

          I miss that guy chiming in for almost everything VW/H2.

    2. James says:

      You know a company is strapped about what to name a new car when they keep dropping labels on cars that don’t match the actual car!

      Here We Go Again, Dept. – This, folks, is in no stretch – a “coupe”! L 🙂 L
      Volkswagen goofed before, naming it’s entry into the large luxury uber sedan market, the “Phaeton”. In autodom, a Phaeton is traditionally defined as a four seater, open-top car with a folding top. When the car reached production, people collectively scratched their heads. Volkswagen has this habit of naming some of it’s cars after Greek Mythological characters ( Eos ), but those cars have so-far all been major flops.

      So the Bolt sucks the air out of the room from Volt, and Cross-Coupe GTE that’s not a coupe circus goes on in Detroit….What’s next?

      1. James says:

        P.S. – I know about the “Shining One” Phaeton in mythology – thus the Eos comment. On top of this, I think the car is a bunch of horizontal lines. VW is not known for imaginative or passionate auto design, that’s it’s Porsche-arm’s job! All told, I’m glad Cross-Coupe-Phaeton…is here. The more, the merrier, just build it and sell it dammit!!! 🙂 …And not for $50,000, OK VW?

        1. James says:

          – And isn’t GTE a telephone company? 🙂

          …all joking aside, can VW just make a proprietary plug-in or at least just sell the Golf GTE ( again, not a phone company ) here pls?

  2. Get Real says:

    Nice looking car, weak sauce on the EV drivetrain though.

    1. ggpa says:

      Agreed. They should emulate Volt and go for more e-horsepower and less gas-horsepower.

  3. Brian says:

    Given that we still don’t have a crossover/SUV with a plug on the market in the US (except for the CMax which has a compromised trunk), I thoroughly welcome this car. I don’t even care that it’s a weak EV. It’s enough for my commute and that’s what matters to me!

    1. Josh says:

      Agreed. This would nail my wife’s commute in all EV mode and have the size, styling, ride height that she prefers.

      Release this and then another OEM will beat its range.

    2. ggpa says:

      Do you know how the size compares to CMax? In other markets, CMax is a seven seater but Ford (wisely IMO) only use 5 seats for US version.

      1. Brian says:

        By the numbers, the VW is 191″ long, 80″ wide, and 68″ tall. By contrast, the CMax is 174″ long, 73″ wide, and 64″ tall. So by the numbers, the VW is larger in every dimension. On the other hand, crossovers tend to be more efficient with that volume than SUVs.

        One thing I do know is that VW takes great pride in their efforts to absorb the battery into the platform with minimal intrusion into the car. Ford, on the other hand, seems content to throw a battery in the trunk and call it a day.

        I cannot imagine a 7-seat CMax. I have driven one, and don’t know where the other two people could sit. Are the dimensions actually different in Europe, or are people just smaller?

        1. wavelet says:

          You think the C-Max is small for a 7-seater? See the Fiat 500L “Living” (7-seater version),
          It’s 171″ long and 70″ wide.

        2. ggpa says:

          Looking at, the 7 seater “C-Max Grand” is 4.52 m in length …

    3. wavelet says:

      You need a 7-seater light truck (which is what an SUV is) for your commute?

      1. Brian says:

        Not at all. And this car is not a 7-seater despite the comments. The article clearly states “It’s five-seater plug-in hybrid vehicle…”. I need a 5 seater for my family. We leave town at least once a month, far exceeding the range of my Leaf. And when I pack all of our stuff up for a week’s vacation, I need a lot of cargo room (more than a standard midsized car can offer). If it can haul my 3000 lb boat to and from the lake in the spring/fall, that’s a bonus (no more renting a truck twice a year!).

        As for the commute, that’s how I’d drive this car 20 days a month. It may not be a long commute, but it adds up. My next car MUST be able to do this without gasoline. This should be easy because even a Plug-In Prius can do my commute all-electric.

        What’s more, I’m not alone here. There are plenty of people for whom this formula (short-range PHEV SUV) would work well. What we need are lots of options so that people can get the vehicle that works for them. Rather than try to cram a one-size-fits-all 80-mile BEV down everyone’s throat.

        1. wavelet says:

          Thanks for the clarification. You wrote “It’s enough for my commute and that’s what matters to me” so I misunderstood that to mean this would be purely a commuter car. It’s not, and your 2nd vehicle is a shorter-range BEV, so it certainly makes sense.

  4. Mike I says:

    I prefer the more traditional shape of the CrossBlue prototype. This “coupe” gives away a lot of vertical cargo space at the rear, just like the A4 Avant/Allroad. If I’m going to buy a vehicle like this for cargo space, I want all the volume available within the footprint.

  5. John F says:

    This car can be the starting point for something even better. It should help get more experience with two electric motors. They are already saying the platform is flexible for a battery plus some second power source. As batteries improve and become available, that second source could become more batteries, and then you have an all electric 4wd. It is just going to take some time. If the batteries were available now, all manufacturers would have to opt for the simpler design of the BEV.