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VW sees future in Cross Coupé

2011-12-01 08:30
TOKYO, Japan - VW is showing its Cross Coupé at the Tokyo auto show this week as a "concept of an SUV-of-the-future".

The all-wheel drive, plug-in hybrid hints at how a crossover between a four-door coupé and an SUV could look. It also defines a new stage in VW engineering design as the automaker's first model based on the company’s new "modular transverse matrix" to be shown publicly.


At 4.35m, the concept is longer than a Golf but shorter than a Tiguan. The width of 1.87m and height of 1.52m also fall between these two bestsellers, meaning that the Cross Coupé’s dimensions place it at the heart of the globally in demand A segment. 

The concept car’s 2.63m wheelbase is very long in relation to its overall length (52mm longer than the Golf and 26mm longer than the Tiguan). The overhangs (855mm at the front and 860mm at the back) are correspondingly short to, VW says, give the car a very compact but dynamic appearance, emphasised by wide tracks widths of 1.58m (front) and 1.61m (rear).

It’s not just coupé-like though, VW says: it has off-road performance figures that almost fall into the range of a classic SUV. The angle of approach, for example, is 24.2 degrees, the departure angle 32.5 degrees. The Cross Coupé also has good off-road ground clearance.

COUPE GETS IT ON - ON AND OFF-ROAD: VW says the Cross Coupé, with its all-wheel electric drive and short front and rear overhangs, has real off-road potential.

The design of the car – by a team led by VW Group cheif designer Walter de Silva and brand design chief, Klaus Bischoff – has the characteristic horizontal lines of the VW "face" while linking to the future with a new light-and-grille treatment.  The rear is dominated by steeply angles and distinctive mew light clusters which are combined with SUV-like chunky bumpers and twin tailpipes.

The four-seat Cross Coupé is powered by two electric motors (one front, one rear) which generate 40kW/180Nm and 85kW/270Nm respectively and a TSI direct-injection turbo petrol engine.  VW says the Cross Coupé can accelerate to 100km/h in seven seconds and hum on to a top speed of 200km/h. It can travel as far as 40km on battery power alone.


The all-wheel drive system with its "electric driveshaft" is another VW innovation with the rear axle being driven by the rear electric motor. In this situation power is supplied to the rear electric motor by the one at the front, which during this phase acts as a generator powered by the TSI engine.

This means the flow of electrical energy replaces the conventional transfer of power by a driveshaft – which creates room in the central tunnel (which would usually house the driveshaft) to contain the lithium ion battery.

The resulting low position of the battery and layout of the drive systems give the vehicle a very low centre of gravity and a balanced spread of axle loading which endow the car with dynamic, coupé-like handling qualities.

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