Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept - 2013 Detroit Auto Show
To obtain all-wheel drive, rather than powering the rear wheels mechanically, the CrossBlue uses a 85-kW (114-hp) electric motor to provide torque on demand. VW calls it "a propshaft-by-wire," and it's similar to the system used in the all-wheel drive version of the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.
The CrossBlue's 0-to-60-mph time is quoted at just 7.2 seconds, and VW says the plug-in hybrid powertrain's 9.8-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery in the center tunnel gives it up to 14 miles of all-electric range, using only the rear motor for propulsion.
Default mode: hybrid
Its default driving mode is as a hybrid, but drivers can instruct the car to run only on electric power as needed, which cuts top speed to 75 mph. If the battery pack is depleted, drivers can also tell the car to charge the pack using the engine--where zero-emission driving is desired.
There's also an Eco mode, for more efficient travel, and a Sport mode, for livelier performance, which uses the electric motors to boost acceleration. Regenerative braking is used, just as in any hybrid.
With an 18.5-gallon fuel tank, the CrossBlue has a range of 660 miles--during which time any young family would likely have to stop for the call of nature more often than for refueling.
Running in hybrid mode, the company estimates the CrossBlue would be rated at 35 miles per gallon combined (33 mpg city, 37 mpg highway), as well 89 MPGe in electric mode.
In addition to the charging port on the driver's side that lets the CrossBlue plug into a charging station to recharge its battery pack, there's also a power takeoff for users to plug in coolers, lights, a stereo, or other electrical equipment--making the car effectively an auxiliary generator.
Volkswagen provided airfare, lodging, and meals to enable High Gear Media to bring you this detailed preview from the Detroit Auto Show.