Volkswagen Cross Coupé TDI Hybrid Concept – Auto Shows

Volkswagen Cross Coupé TDI Hybrid Concept

This time, fossil-fuel propulsion duties are handled by VW’s new 2.0-liter EA288 TDI engine, which the stocky crossover cradles with a platform created from VW’s MQB (Modular Transverse Matrix) architecture. This iteration also borrows its seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and suspension from the MQB parts bin.When Volkswagen’s Cross Coupé Concept debuted in Tokyo last December, our curiosity was piqued by a theoretical powertrain that incorporated a four-cylinder gasoline engine and two electric motors. Now, just a few months later, the Cross Coupé takes the stage again, this time in Geneva. Although the exterior hasn’t changed, the innards have. VW was kind enough to paint it red so we could tell the difference.

Torque is the new powertrain’s strong suit, the diesel providing the front wheels with 295 lb-ft from approximately 1600 rpm, and the pair of electric motors contributing their share (133 lb-ft at the front axle, 199 at the rear) nearly instantaneously. VW says the trio of powerplants can conspire to deliver a whopping 516 ft-lb of torque. Power is channeled to all four wheels, and VW is claiming a 0-to-60-mph time of 6.5 seconds.

Modal AnalysisThe two electric motors can act as generators when the driver lifts off of the accelerator; if the battery is fully charged, both electric motors and the engine are shut off and decoupled from the drivetrain to save energy and fuel (current VW and Porsche hybrids “coast” in a similar fashion). Energy is stored in a 9.8-kWh, eight-module lithium-ion battery. Plug-in charging is accomplished via an external 230-volt power source. Electric-only range is about 28 miles with a maximum speed of 75 mph. A Cross Coupé with a fully charged battery and a fresh tank of fuel is theoretically good for 800 miles.

Five modes of operation are available to Cross Coupé TDI drivers: City is aimed at conserving fuel; Sport gives it everything it has; E-mode uses only the rear electric motor; Charging runs a motor with the TDI to top off the battery; and Off-Road forces it into all-wheel drive. That last one requires some explanation, on account of its Goldbergian complexity: To ensure all four wheels are driven, even with a depleted battery, the front electric motor acts an engine-run generator and sends electricity to the rear axle via an arrangement referred to as an “electric propshaft.” Clever, if not entirely efficient.

Given the fact that VW has now brought this concept to two different shows, we’re confident something like the Cross Coupé will see production. The hybrid system, with either a gas or diesel engine, seems likely for the real world in some form, as well. For now, we look forward to a future show where the Cross Coupé is gifted a turbine or nuclear power source.

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