At the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, Volkswagen showed off a concept vehicle which provided a taster of their next generation SUVs. The all-wheel-drive plug-in rechargeable hybrid VW Cross Coupe concept wasn’ t the most exciting looking vehicle on the planet, by a long way, but it did have that restrained, sensible grown-up styling theme that has made Volkswagen such a popular brand across the world.
The Volkswagen Cross Coupe concept features the first use of the company’s new ‘modular transverse matrix’ (MQB) architecture. A technology which will allow Volkswagen to produce a number of different models using the same basic set of chassis components.
At 4.4 metres, the Cross Coupe concept is longer than a Golf and shorter than a Tiguan. The width of 1.86 metres and height of 1.52 metres also places it exactly in between these two popular models. Volkswagen are hoping that the Cross Coupe concept’s compact yet adequate dimensions would make it an attractive proposition in the rapidly growing A segment of the market.
The Cross Coupe concept has a long wheelbase in comparison to its overall length, correspondingly it also has smaller front and rear overhangs to the benefit of its off-road credentials. The front angle of approach, for example, is 24.2 degrees and at the rear 32.5 degrees.
The car was designed by a team led by Volkswagen Group Chief Designer Walter de Silva and Brand Design Chief, Klaus Bischoff. The Cross Coupe concept features the trademark horizontal lines of the Volkswagen ‘face’ at the front, which link the grille to the headlights. At the rear the concept is simple and uncluttered. Compact jewel-like taillights stand out from the silver/gray paintwork.
The four-seat Volkswagen Cross Coupé concept is powered by two electric motors (one front and one rear) which generate 40 kW / 180 Nm of torque and 85 kW / 270 Nm respectively, and a TSI direct injection turbo petrol engine. With overall power of 265 horsepower, the Cross Coupé concept can accelerate to 62 mph (100km/h) in just 7 seconds, and continue on to a top speed of 125 mph. When fully charged the Cross Coupe can travel up to 25 miles (40 km) on purely electric power.
The all-wheel drive system of the Cross Coupe concept features a new innovation for Volkswagen called the ‘electric drive shaft’. The rear axle is 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 that in the Cross Coupé, the flow of electrical energy thus replaces the conventional transfer of power by means of a drive shaft – which creates room in the central tunnel (which would usually house the drive shaft) to hold the lithium ion battery.