The design team led by Walter de Silva and Klaus Bischoff have come up with Volkswagen idea of a crossover between a four-door coupé and a compact SUV. The designers have designed the SUV as an all wheel drive plug in hybrid with two electric motors, one in the front and one in the rear, and a direct injection turbo petrol engine (TSI). The Cross Coupé can drive a distance of up to 45 kilometres purely on electric power.
Volkswagen has taken this opportunity to present their all-wheel drive system with ‘electric drive shaft’. The rear axle is driven by the rear of the two electric motors. 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. In the Cross Coupé the flow of electrical energy thus replaces the conventional transfer of power by means of a drive shaft. The space normally utilized by the mechanical drive shaft is now used by the lithium ion battery (tunnel battery) on the Cross Coupé. The low position of the battery and the general layout of the drive systems give the vehicle a very low centre of gravity and facilitate a balanced spread of axle loading.
The Cross Coupe is characterized by a wheelbase of 2,630mm, which is longer than the Tiguan’s. The front and rear overhangs are relatively short and the track widths are large. These dimensions lend a powerful look to the Cross Coupe and a front angle of approach of 24.2 degrees and the rear 32.5 degrees.
The shoulder line is set low compared to other SUVs. The long bonnet and a passenger area set to the extreme rear lend what Volkswagen calls a ‘precisely moulded coupé silhouette’. The shoulder line, also known as the tornado line, looks as if it has been cut with a razor blade, which runs just below the frameless windows, extending from the front to the rear wing. At either ends of the line are the clearly flared wings, which create a very powerful sideline. To the rear a voluminous coupé-like C column rises up over the wheel arches and in silhouette the entire rear of the car appears to rest on the 20-inch alloys.
Volkswagen has been receiving flak for its recent ‘family’ design, developed by Walter de Silva (Group Chief Designer) and Klaus Bischoff (Volkswagen Chief Designer). The new design DNA has, to an extent stripped the individuality of cars like the Jetta and the VW CC Coupe. Not that it has stopped people from buying the Jetta by the dozen. This writer believes family design is a good thing, and on the road, it isn’t that hard to distinguish the Jetta from the Vento or the Polo.
The Crossover Coupe features an evolution of the front face of VW design. The designers have physically merged the two xenon twin headlamps with the radiator grille’s chrome-plated fins. In detail, it is two chrome bars, one above the other, that link the headlamps. Moreover, the chrome fins that rise to the sides of the coupe emphasise its width and are part of an entirely new type of lighting concept; the lower of the two chrome fins contains the daytime running light, and the fin above it contains the indicators.
The shallow line of the side windows also influences the rear of the car. Typical of Coupes, the rear window is incorporated at a very sloping angle. To the top rear the hatchback is finished off by a spoiler, which visually extends the roof surface and Volkswagen says, as a trailing edge technically optimises the aerodynamics. The rear light clusters are kept slim. The rear lights feature a delicate, pale, horizontal bar, similar to that on the new Volkswagen CC Coupe. Typical of an SUV, meanwhile, is the chunky rear bumper, integrated into the left and right of which are the exhaust pipes.
A user programmable instrument cluster display, behind the steering wheel can be controlled by the rotary control knob on the centre console. It has three different display modes: ‘Sport’, ‘City’ and ‘Offroad’. Depending on the mode selected, the screen displays different content. For example, select the Offroad mode and you’ll see the gyrometer, compass and topographic map. Positioned centrally between the round instruments is another multifunction colour display, on which vehicle information, the phone menu, audio details and alongside this further navigation data such as a 3D off-road picture can be shown.
The Cross Coupe also has well thought out, well executed, individual seats.The backs of the rear seats and of the front passenger’s seat can be folded fully forwards and since seat backs have a durable outer synthetic covering, you can load up stuff without stopping to think about ruining the leather. The boot space behind the rear seats has a capacity of 380 litres (up to the window edge).
More information on the powertrain from the press release
‘Electric power’, ‘Charge’ and three further modes. Based on the amount of drive (for instance, loss of traction on the front axle) or through the driver consciously switching to all-wheel or electric mode, the second electric motor integrated with the rear axle engages it in an instant. In general there are three driving modes available to the driver: City (eco-mode with minimal fuel consumption), Sport (dynamic driving) and Offroad (permanent all-wheel drive).