At the end of 2016, Volkswagen of America will start production of one of the most important new models for the company in the last five decades in Chattanooga, Tennessee: a seven-seater mid-size SUV. The countdown for the premiere of the all-rounder with a length of around five meters (approx. 197 inches) has started. As a trailer to this new automotive blockbuster, Volkswagen is now presenting the five-seater Cross Coupé GTE at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS, 12–25 January 2014) in Detroit: an exclusive SUV with a plug-in hybrid system, all-wheel drive via an "electric cardan shaft," maximum system output of 265 kW / 360 PS and a range of 70 MPGe1. Klaus Bischoff, chief designer at Volkswagen says "The Cross Coupé GTE is the ambassador of a new design language developed by Volkswagen for the U.S." And he continues: "The concept car has a commanding presence; it is powerful with a look that could almost be described as aggressive. Numerous details hint at how we envisage a future production SUV model for North America. The underlying concept combines German engineering and design with the style of the automotive "American way of life". And that means high efficiency, clear and powerful lines, logical operation and supreme quality – combined with lots of space, superior performance figures and extremely good comfort.
Sporty and fuel-efficient. The acronym "GTE" describes the special concept of the Cross Coupé and generally applies to all Volkswagen models with plug-in hybrid drive – they are superior sporty vehicles with high-tech engines. They offer the touring characteristics of a grand tourer Gran Turismo and, thanks to one or more electric motors and a battery that can also be charged externally, zero-emission driving is also possible. In Europe, the first GTE is already on the market and the second is waiting in the wings. They are able to drive longer distances in all-electric mode. The SUV presented in Detroit also becomes a zero-emission vehicle over distances of up to 20 miles or 32 kilometers (due to different type approval procedures the electric ranges for the USA and Europe cannot be compared on a 1:1 basis.) All GTE models can be driven in various operating modes. The Cross Coupé GTE has the programs "E-Mode," "GTE," "Hybrid," "Offroad" and "Battery Hold / Battery Charge".
Innovative technological matrix. The Cross Coupé GTE is the third concept car presented by Volkswagen on the way to the production version of the mid-size SUV. 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 that is now being presented at the NAIAS – represent just a part of the wide spectrum of SUV variants that can be realized on the basis of the modular transverse matrix (MQB) developed by Volkswagen. They were developed with the aim of offering an SUV in North America in the near future that is consistently tailored to the U.S. market.