VW’s CrossBlue Coupé Concept Hybrid To Be Seen In Los Angeles

Volkswagen will celebrate the U.S. debut of the hybrid CrossBlue Coupé concept at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The CrossBlue Coupé has a plug-in hybrid powertrain that Volkswagen describes both as fuel-efficient and sporty. A turbocharged direct-injection (TSI) V6 gasoline engine works with two electric motors to produce up to 415 horsepower. VW said this SUV can thus perform like a sports car, with a 0 to 60 mph time of 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 147 mph.

Despite its performance, the CrossBlue Coupé has a manufacturer estimated combined fuel consumption of 70 MPGe. In hybrid mode, it allows for a theoretical range of around 570 miles.

“The disproportionate growth in the SUV segment gives designers the opportunity to implement an even greater diversification of models,” said Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design for the Volkswagen Brand. “The CrossBlue Coupé shows the potential of our Volkswagen design DNA and will undoubtedly have an influence on future SUV models.”

VW explained the CrossBlue Coupé can be driven as a zero emissions EV for up to 13 miles at a maximum speed of 75 mph: to intentionally use this eco-friendly mode in urban areas, the driver simply pushes a button.

The concept vehicle is based on the brand’s new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB). While certain aspects of the MQB vehicles, such as the orientation of all the engines, are uniform, there is considerable scope for variation in dimensions such as the wheelbase and track widths. All new MQB models are designed so that they can be built with natural gas, hybrid, or electric powertrains as well as diesel or gasoline engines.

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In this concept car, VW has featured the following production mechanical elements: the MQB front suspension and four-link rear suspension; electro-mechanical MQB steering; a 295-horsepower EA390-series V6 TSI engine; and a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The vehicle’s electrical architecture includes a lithium-ion battery mounted in the center tunnel as well as a pair of electric motors: 54 horsepower at the front and 114 horsepower at the back.

The plug-in hybrid system enables, per VW, the vehicle to achieve a manufacturer estimated 70 MPGe. The V6 engine develops 369 pound-feet of torque from as low as 1800 rpm, a figure that is boosted to 516 pound-feet when the two electric motors are engaged.

A 9.8 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery is housed in the center tunnel. The power electronics unit—integrated in the engine compartment and operating at around 375 volts—manages the flow of high-voltage energy to and from the battery and the electric motors. Meanwhile, a DC/DC converter supplies the body electrical system with the 12-volt electrical power it requires.

VW said the electric drive system does not impose any limitations on interior space whatsoever. The battery can be charged either by external power sources (230-volt connections) or while driving.

As soon as the driver releases the accelerator pedal, the engine and electric motors are decoupled from the drivetrain and the engine is shut off, provided that the battery is sufficiently charged. This is referred to as “coasting.” No emissions are generated.

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