Both the VW Tiguan and Touareg have been on the market for a while now and will be replaced by new models in around two years. At the recent Detroit Motor Show, Volkswagen provided a glimpse of what these future models might look like
Volkswagen chose the Detroit Motor Show to introduce a new five-seat mid-size SUV concept car called the Cross Coupé GTE.
It may have been just another motor show special, but it’s known that both the Tiguan and Touareg are up for replacement within the next two years. This means the concept vehicle might be the first hint of what Volkswagen’s next SUVs may look like. Most manufacturers are working on crossover coupés, so we’d be surprised if VW had not already given the green light for a production version of the show car.
Either way, VW tends to keep its styling fairly generic across its range, which is why we refer to both the Tiguan and Touareg. Expect the replacement models to be heavily influenced by the Cross Coupe GTE as well as the CrossBlue from the 2013 Detroit Motor Show, albeit with a bit less chrome attached to the front end.
The show vehicle is powered by a 3,6-litre V6 petrol engine, which uses a smart hybrid system to keep fuel consumption and emissions down. The petrol engine has a power output of 206kW and 350Nm, which would be more than enough for a car of this size, but since hybrid SUVs are the next big thing, VW simply had to add at least one small electric motor.
The German manufacturer completely overshot on this front, because it has placed an electric motor on the front as well as on the rear axle. The front motor delivers 40kW and 220Nm of torque, while the rear motor dishes up an impressive 85kW and 270Nm.
A bank of compact lithium-ion batteries situated in the centre tunnel powers these motors. The total system output is rated at 265kW, which allows the Cross Coupé GTE to accelerate to 100km/h in six seconds flat. Top speed is given as 209km/h.
The vehicle has an all-electric range of just 32km. In this mode the rear motor is used, while the petrol engine is decoupled from the powertrain completely by disengaging the clutch. Once the battery charge runs out, the engine engages again within a fraction of a second.
To make the best use of this advanced engine, the CC GTE has a number of driving modes. You get on-road, off-road, sport and snow.
The off-road mode is particularly impressive. All four wheels are engaged when it is selected and the driver needn’t worry if the batteries powering the electric motor at the rear are flat. In this case the front electric motor is used as a generator, driven by the V6 engine, to provide power to the electric motor at the rear. The V6 then powers the front wheels, while simultaneously generating the electricity needed to power the rear wheels. It’s a complicated solution, but expect to see more like it in the coming years.
Inside the cabin the Cross Coupé GTE features Volkswagen’s new 12,3-inch Active Info Display touch-screen infotainment system. It also has seating for five people and a rather generous boot.
If the Cross Coupé and its older concept siblings are indeed previews of the new Tiguan/Touareg, we can’t wait to see the production vehicles.
Unfortunately the replacements for VW’s famed SUVs are still a way off, but it seems that the wait will definitely be worthwhile.