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Volkswagen Cross Coup

Volkswagen Cross Coupé concept review

Volkswagen Cross Coupé concept
has a turbodiesel direct injection engine and two electric motors resulting in
157 mpg
and emissions of
46 g/km CO

The powertrain also produces 306 PS (225 kW), enough to propel the 1,858 kg Cross Coupé to a top speed of 137 mph.

The Cross Coupé is built on Volkswagen’s new modular transverse matrix (MQB). This new platform standardises certain parameters across models and brands (for example the distance between the accelerator pedal and the front axle), but makes many other parameters variable, creating maximum flexibility for more effectively developing a wide range of models. This not only means it is as easy to make a Cross Coupé that uses a petrol-electric hybrid system as a diesel-electric hybrid , but also to use combustion engines alone, or electric power alone for example.

Volkswagen Cross Coupé Engineering

The Cross Coupé uses many elements of the new MQB modular toolkit: MQB front and rear SUV suspension, plus the new 190 PS TDI EA 288 engine, in this case mated to a six-speed DSG transmission. Added to this is a lithium-ion battery in the centre console, plus a 40 kW electric motor at the front and an 85 kW motor at the rear. Together, these can propel the Cross Coupé from zero to 62 mph in 6.5 seconds.

The 2.0-litre TDI engine alone provides the Cross Coupé with 295 lbs ft of torque (400 Nm) from just 1,600 rpm, while the front E-motor provides 133 lbs ft (180 Nm) and the rear E-motor a further 199 lbs ft (270 Nm). The drive system can provide a maximum of 516 lbs ft (700 Nm) at any one time. This helps give the Cross Coupé the performance of a sports car, but with efficiency greater than that of a city car.

In pure electric mode, the Cross Coupé can cover up to 28 miles at speeds of up to 75 mph. This is sufficient for the majority of commuters to make the journey to work with zero emissions.

Two pure electric modes are available: E-mode (CITY) and E-mode (SPORT) . In the former, only the rear motor is used, while in the latter, both E-motors are used. In both pure electric modes, the turbodiesel engine is decoupled from the drivetrain and shut off. If the TDI is needed (for example if the battery’s charge is depleted), it seamlessly re-engages within fractions of a second.

The main battery for the E-motors is in the centre tunnel of the Cross Coupé, and consists of eight lithium-ion modules. The battery has a capacity of 9.8 kWh, and operates at approximately 370 Volts. The battery can either be charged while driving, or from an external 230 Volt power supply.

Should the driver wish to charge the battery while the vehicle is moving, there are two ways of doing this. By selecting CHARGE mode, at the press of a button, the TDI engine will supply power to the battery. This is useful if, for example, the driver is approaching a zero-emissions zone for which they require a fully-charged battery. The battery can also be charged by the electric motors operating as generators when the driver takes their foot off the brake or the accelerator. Should the battery not need charging, when the driver lifts their foot from the brake or accelerator, the Cross Coupé shuts off all motors and engines, and ‘coasts’, providing zero-emissions driving.

Volkswagen Cross Coupé Road Test

For off-road driving, there is an OFFROAD mode, which ensures all four wheels are driven. In this case, the TDI engine powers the front wheels, and also provides energy to the front electric motor. The front electric motor does not, however, power the front wheels. Instead, it becomes the sole source of electrical energy for the rear motor, operating as a kind of ‘electric propshaft’. Because power for the electric motors is provided via the TDI engine, OFFROAD mode is possible even if the battery charge is depleted.

For the sportiest driving experience, the driver can select SPORT mode.  This utilises the maximum power of both E-motors and the TDI engine, for maximum acceleration. Similarly for minimum emissions (but with TDI engine engaged), a CITY mode keeps energy consumption to a minimum. In theory, the Cross Coupé’s 55-litre fuel tank thus gives it a range of 800 miles.

Inside, there are four individual seats with plastic shells. These not only help preserve each occupant’s personal space, but also provide greater durability when folded to accommodate larger loads. With all the seats in position, the boot has a 380-litre capacity; with rear seats folded this rises to 1,230 litres.

Programmable instruments behind the steering wheel provide different information depending on the mode that the Cross Coupé is in – CITY, OFFROAD or SPORT. For example, in OFFROAD mode, the instruments display gyroscope, compass and topographical map. Each mode not only displays different information, but also a unique colour scheme.

Volkswagen says that the Cross Coupé is a concept vehicle, and there are no current plans to put it into production.

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