2013 Volkswagen CrossBlue Preview: North American International Auto Show
Goodbye, Routan—Hello, 89 MPGe Crossover
Why the 2013 Volkswagen CrossBlue Matters: The most amazing thing about VW’s current run of success may be how lopsided it is. Consider: Although the brand is selling in volumes unseen since its heyday in the early 1970s, more than 60 percent of its 438,133 sales last year came from just two models—the 2012/2013 VW Jetta and 2012/2013 VW Passat. But using those two made-for-the-U.S., built-in-the-U.S. vehicles as the template, VW made its case for a future seven-seat crossover when it debuted the 2013 Volkswagen CrossBlue concept vehicle today in Detroit, at the 2013 North American International Auto Show.
However, despite the “concept” designation, it seems pretty clear that something very similar to the 2013 Volkwagen CrossBlue is going to land at dealerships in the not too distant future to compete in the quickly growing mid-size crossover segment. And it’s likely no coincidence that VW execs at the CrossBlue press conference also noted how vehicles in this segment were taking over for minivans—like the VW Routan that’s about to go out of production.
And then there’s the fact that the 2013 VW CrossBlue relies on a plug-in diesel hybrid powertrain that—in theory—would deliver 35 mpg in combined driving, an all-electric driving range of about 14 miles and a miles per gallon equivalent rating of 89 MPGe. It’s the same powertrain that propels the VW Cross Coupe concept, too, which lends to credence to the thought that the setup is coming to production—or why show it in more than one vehicle?
Adding that kind of high efficiency to a seven-seat crossover with relatively rugged styling could be exactly the advantage VW needs to conquer yet another segment of the marketplace.