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Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE Concept: Detroit Auto Show

What Is It?

The Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE Concept comes to Detroit with a mission: to combine “German engineering and design with a vehicle that suits the American lifestyle,” says Klaus Bischoff, VW’s chief designer.

That’s not an easy thing to pin down; American drivers have traditionally gone for power, but lately there’s been a shift toward lower emissions. This 5-seater crossover SUV manages to do both, because it’s a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

The bulk of the car’s power comes from a 3.6-liter V6 gasoline engine. Two electric motors, one up front and the other turning the rear axle for all-wheel drive, bring maximum combined output to a healthy 355 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. The vehicle will travel for up to 20 miles in electric-only mode.

Along with its firepower and styling, the CC GTE features a high-tech cabin with gesture controls. Proximity sensors allow the driver and front passenger to access and adjust basic car functions and infotainment choices simply through hand movements. This is the next wave of in-car electronics.

Will They Ever Sell It?

Not exactly in this form, especially not with its 22-inch wheels. As a concept, its main goals are to show off design and technology features.

Why It’s Important

The Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE Concept is described in a VW press release as showing “the future design language for Volkswagen’s North American SUVs.”

The company says it will start production of a 7-seater SUV in its Tennessee facility toward the end of 2016. This concept serves as a preview to that production model.

See all 2015 Detroit Auto Show articles

Colin Ryan
Colin Ryan specializes in writing about new cars. But he has also covered trucks, vans, 3-wheelers, even the occasional motorbike. That’s the kind of thing that happens while contributing to the Los Angeles Times, Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Popular Mechanics, Variety, Mazda and Lexus customer magazines, as well as many enthusiast sites and publications. He was also a staff writer at BBC Top... Read More about Colin Ryan

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