Volkswagen has introduced their long-awaited new plug-in hybrid, the Cross Coupe GTE Concept. Unveiled at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, the new two-row crossover can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in six seconds. Unlike other midsize SUVs on the market, the Cross Coupe GTE has two electric motors and snazzy features like interactive gesture control and settings for zero tailpipe emissions.
The Cross Coupe GTE is the second model to be built at VW’s Chattanooga, TN, plant. Critics say it looks like a lot like the previous concept unveiled in 2013 at the Shanghai Motor Show. Some of the more outrageous features have been toned down since that version, so the new model actually looks like it would be at home on the road among other crossover models currently in production.
The exterior may look familiar, but what’s under the hood is what sets the Cross Coupe GTE apart. Its 3.6-liter VR6 is connected to two electric motors, while the gas engine flexes 276 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The Cross Coupe GTE can carry up to five passengers at a top speed of 130 miles per hour. VW plans to add two more seats, for a total of seven, at the end of 2016.
Volkswagen hopes this particular SUV will impress people (and, of course, sell like hotcakes), but it also aims to use this model as a stepping stone to revolutionizing the design of midsize SUVs across the industry. The Cross Coupe GTE represents stellar progress toward the goal of clean, green vehicles that also suit the needs of the American lifestyle with their ability to cart multiple munchkins to music class, haul home improvement supplies, and still look sleek enough to impress the folks at the co-op.
Images via Volkswagen