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Volkswagen plans plug-in diesel electric SUVs

Volkswagen is planning to release no less than four hybrid SUV models powered by the diesel electric drivetrains in the coming years.

According to, the CrossBlue concept has been cleared for production and will go on sale in the US, but is not planned for launch in other parts of the world.


"This is a car for a specific segment which only exists in the USA," said Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, the head of VW product planning and engineering, on the eve of its unveiling.

The six- to seven-seat crossover vehicle is meant to sit between the Volkswagen Tiguan and the Volkswagen Touareg in the German carmaker’s line-up. As a plug-in hybrid model, it is expected that it will be capable of 89mpge in US economy ratings with an all-electric range of 14miles boosted by a 9.8kWh lithium-ion battery.

While over here, we won’t see the CrossBlue make it onto our roads, the plug-in hybrid powertrain it uses will be available in three new smaller SUVs, which will be offered in Europe.

First will be a replacement for the Tiguan including a coupe model and a longer wheelbase seven-seat model. All will use the new new VW Group vehicle architecture which underpins the seventh-generation VW Golf, the Audi A3 range, Skoda's latest Octavia and the new SEAT Leon.

Volkswagen’s new plug-in drivetrain features two electric motors - one contained within the gearbox at the front and the other on the rear axle - so that cars using it can switch between two- and four-wheel drive on demand.

In the Detroit show car, these motors were paired with a TDI diesel engine delivering a combined power output of 303bhp. But they could just as easily operate with other internal combustion engines or alternative power sources such as a hydrogen fuel cell.

More details on European models will be released soon.


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Faye Sunderland

Filed under: Volkswagen

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