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Auto Show:  2011 Tokyo Auto Show

Volkswagen Cross Coupe Concept - Tokyo Auto Show

author photo by Nick Palermo December 2011
  • A compact SUV concept sized between VW's Golf and Tiguan models
  • Hybrid drivetrain with three motors
  • Aggressive, forward-looking design inside and out

Although a four-door, Volkswagen gives its concept debuting at the Tokyo Motor Show the "coupe" moniker to reflect its sleek styling and fast roofline. The Cross Coupe concept is actually a compact 4-seat SUV; it's larger than the Volkswagen Golf but smaller than the Tiguan. A plug-in hybrid drivetrain consisting of three motors - one gas and two electric - provides efficient all-wheel drive power. The Cross Coupe's styling is sleek yet rugged and points to Volkswagen's future design direction.

While its sized between the Golf and Tiguan, the Cross Coupe rides on a wheelbase that's significantly longer than either of these. This creates short overhangs that, along with good ground clearance, benefit off-road capability.

All-wheel drive is permanent in the "Offroad" mode, one of three settings controlling power delivery from the unique hybrid system. "City" mode minimizes fuel consumption, and "Sport" provides sportier driving dynamics.

The plug-in capable hybrid in the Cross Coupe consists of a 147-horsepower direct injection turbo gasoline motor mated to a 54-horsepower electric motor powering the front axle. Out back, a 114-horsepower electric motor drives the rear wheels. Volkswagen claims the Cross Coupe can run in electric-only mode for nearly 28 miles and has a range of 531 miles with fuel economy of 87 mpg. The combined output of 261 horsepower yields a zero to 62 mph time of seven seconds and a 125-mph top speed.

The Cross Coupe concept's design is cutting edge inside and out, but remains conventional enough to suggest some details may soon make it to production Volkswagens. The profile features a high waistline and low window line, giving the passenger compartment a chopped look. A bold crease Volkswagen calls the "tornado line" runs the length of the vehicle just below the windows. Fat sills and bumpers emphasize SUV ruggedness. Up front, a new grille design integrates VW's signature horizontal slats and integrates them with the headlamps. The rear of the Cross Coupe is visually widened by the thin tail lights. Integrated exhaust outlets and five-spoke 20-inch wheels keep the Cross Coupe sporty.

Like the Volkswagen CC, this concept has four individual bucket seats. The central tunnel divides both rows and houses the lithium-ion battery pack. The dash and console are elegant yet rugged, with aluminum switches and gear lever and thick grab handles. Multiple displays, including a central touch screen, provide vehicle information and control, navigation and audio. The rear seat backs and passenger seat back fold to increase cargo space.

Still, cargo space with the seats folded is less than the volume of the smaller Golf. And thought the Cross Coupe is smaller than the Tiguan, it outweighs the production SUV by over 400 pounds. But the Cross Coupe is certainly stylish and, if the fuel economy estimates are accurate, the extra weight and bulk of the hybrid system would certainly be worth the sacrifice.

What it means to you:

Although the Cross Coupe is a concept and not a production-ready vehicle, its unique hybrid system and stylish design point to Volkswagen's not-too-distant future.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Volkswagen Cross Coupe Concept - Tokyo Auto Show - Autotrader