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Tokyo show: VW apes Evoque with Cross Coupe

Evoquetive: VW's Cross Coupe concept has shades of Range Rover's Evoque, with its low and wide stance.

Hybrid Cross Coupe concept previews future face of VW SUVs, debuts new MQB platform

30 Nov 2011

VOLKSWAGEN used today’s Tokyo motor show opening to unveil the styling direction of future SUV products in the shape of its plug-in hybrid-powered Cross Coupe concept.

An evolution of VW’s current corporate nose treatment, the Cross Coupe exhibits the familiar traits of horizontal chrome bars in the grille, but adds a twist by linking the lower two chrome bars with upswept features – like the daytime running lights – into the deep, almost triangular headlight design.

Although the styling is reminiscent of some recent Volvo design concepts, VW says the Cross Coupe’s front-end design is the new face of its SUVs, expected to enter production on the next-generation Tiguan due in 2014.

Rather like the Range Rover Evoque, the Cross Coupe sits low and wide on oversized wheels and has a steeply descending roof, while providing approach and departure angles that suggest off-road ability.

Also similar to the British car, the Cross Coupe looks larger in photos than its Evoque-like dimensions would suggest.

The Cross Coupe’s high-tech premium interior, Audi A1-esque upper half, Q3-style fastback rear end and a name that recalls the concept precursor to Audi’s Q3 also blur the lines between VW and its Ingolstadt-based premium brand.

However, VW describes the Cross Coupe as “original, strong in character, sculptural and dynamic”, and standing for “the future of SUV design at Volkswagen”.

3 center imageThe concept, which debuts the German giant’s new modular transverse matrix (otherwise known as MQB) platform, combines a 110kW petrol engine with electric motors on both axles to produce a total of 195kW while returning claimed fuel consumption of 2.7 litres per 100 kilometres.

Volkswagen claims the powerful petrol-electric drivetrain can propel the 1748kg Cross Coupe to 100km/h in seven seconds and reach 200km/h, or provide an electric-only range of 40km in more sedate driving.

The two-motor all-wheel drive system cleverly dispenses of a prop shaft, transferring energy electrically rather than mechanically by using the 40kW/180Nm front motor as a generator – driven by the petrol engine – to provide power to the 85kW/270Nm rear motor when all-wheel traction is required.

Space liberated in the transmission tunnel is used to hold the 9.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which VW says helps provide the Cross Coupe with a low centre of gravity and “balanced spread of axle loading”, contributing to “dynamic coupe-like handling”.

The Cross Coupe’s 4345mm length is just 5mm shy of the Evoque, and although at 1868mm it is almost 100mm narrower than the baby Rangie, offset by a 122mm lower height, at 1523mm tall – helping to achieve a low aerodynamic drag coefficient of 0.329.

Volkswagen claims a 380-litre boot capacity for the Cross Coupe, which can be extended to 1230 litres with the 1724mm load length liberated when the rear and front passenger seats – protected by a durable synthetic backing – are folded flat.

The Cross Coupe joined another all-wheel drive Volkswagen on the brand’s Tokyo stand in the shape of its jacked-up Passat Alltrack wagon that will slot into Australian showrooms between the Tiguan and Touareg SUVs by the end of next year.

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