Last month, VW pulled the cover off a seven-passenger plug-in hybrid SUV concept specifically designed for the North American market. During the unveiling, VW offered up a surprising amount of detail about the hybrid powertrain, its all-electric range and expected mileage. In contrast, most manufacturers of even production-ready plug-ins don’t offer these details until the last minute. This welcome level of specificity paints a picture of one very unique SUV.
The Crossblue would be the first diesel electric hybrid offered in North America. Long diesel-friendly, the European market has already seen a few models with this flavor of hybrid drive. But existing companies with diesel hybrid entries, such as Volvo and Peugeot, have yet to field this technology in a seven-passenger SUV configuration.
With 14 miles of all-electric range and an estimated 35 mpg when running on diesel fuel alone, the Crossblue would offer SUV customers a compelling way to enjoy large-vehicle capabilities while significantly increasing mileage. The Crossblue’s fuel-free range is also interesting in that it chalks up yet another entry in the 10-20 mile range rather than the higher 40-mile electrical endurance targeted by cars such as the Chevy Volt.
VW has already had success with diesel models in the states and concepts like the Crossblue may offer a glimpse into to the hybrid-electric future of VW products.