The Volkswagen Cross Coupé GTE all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid is a new five-seater midsize SUV concept car.
The Cross Coupé GTE is the third concept car presented by Volkswagen in the run-up to the introduction of the production version. Together, all three concept cars – the CrossBlue presented in Detroit in January 2013, the CrossBlue Coupé most recently shown in Los Angeles in November 2013, and the Cross Coupé GTE – were developed with the aim of offering an SUV in North America in the near future tailored to the US market.
Powering the Cross Coupé GTE is a 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine in combination with two electric motors. The six-cylinder direct-injection engine (FSI) delivers 280 PS and maximum torque of 350 Nm, while the two electric motors deliver 40 kW and 220 Nm (front) and 85 kW and 270 Nm (rear).
They’re powered by a compact lithium-ion battery housed in the centre tunnel, with energy content of 14.1 kWh. The total output of the drive system is 360 PS, and using this full power, the Cross Coupé GTE, which has a top speed of 130 mph, accelerates to 60 mph in just 6.0 seconds. The Cross Coupé GTE can be driven in five different power modes: E-Mode, Hybrid, GTE, Offroad and Battery Hold / Battery Charge.
In E-Mode, the Cross Coupé GTE can travel in zero-emission mode for up to 20 miles, and in this case the 85 kW rear axle electric motor alone drives the vehicle, with the V6 FSI decoupled from the drivetrain by disengaging the clutch and shutting down. As soon as the six-cylinder engine needs to be restarted, it engages in the drivetrain again in a fraction of a second.
The Cross Coupé GTE also has a number of different driving profiles: Onroad (with the sub-modes Comfort and Eco), Offroad (with Rocks, Sludge & Sand and Gravel), Sport and Snow, and each of these changes the set-up and driving characteristics of the car.
All four wheels are powered as soon as the driver activates Offroad drive mode. If Offroad is engaged and the battery state of charge is low, the front electric motor is employed exclusively as a generator that is driven by the V6 FSI in order to provide the power for its counterpart on the rear axle.
The power to drive the rear axle flows by wire and not mechanically. Due to the fact that the FSI drives the rear electric motor via the front electric motor in off-road mode, all-wheel drive is available even when the battery has a low state of charge.