Car Tech Video: VW unveils its CrossBlue concept
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Car Tech Video: VW unveils its CrossBlue concept

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At the 2013 Detroit auto show, CNET's Wayne Cunningham gives us a First Look at VW's CrossBlue concept, complete with plug-in technology, two iPad screens in the back, and a rather large American-looking SUV exterior that just might make it to the market soon.

-Hi, I'm Wayne Cunningham here at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show taking a look at the Volkswagen Cross Blue Concept. Now, this seems like one of the most technically advanced cars of the show and it could come to production. VW is trying to make a business case for it right now. It's got a diesel engine in front, 190 horsepower, and it also has a 54-horsepower electric motor integrated with the double-shift gearbox. That's a six-speed gearbox so that makes it a hybrid powertrain, but there's more. It also has a 114-horsepower electric motor on the rear wheels, so that actually gives that all-wheel drive, actually four-wheel drive when you consider they can shift the torque around any way they want. They can throw a bunch of torque to the back, front. It can be working at the same time. You can drive in different modes. You can drive in all-wheel drive mode, four-wheel drive mode, and also just front wheel drive mode if they just wanna economize as much as possible. That's also a plug-in hybrid. We see the plug right here. It's got a 9.8-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery and it can drive from 14 miles on electric power alone. VW estimates it's gonna get about 89 miles per gallon equivalent that's taking the electric powertrain into consideration or 35 miles per gallon just working as a hybrid. It's an interesting form factor too. VW design is specifically for the North American market. They're calling it an SUV. I'm thinking more of like a minivan or crossover. We see a pretty robust hood here, pretty squared off hood. We have these vents on the top of the hood. That's kind of alike Land Rovers done in the past. We also have these LED headlights and that's more of a concept car element. We probably won't see that come to production. It's actually a six-seater. There's three rows of seats inside - front row, middle row with two independent seats, and a rear row with two independent seats as well, - although VW says when it comes to market, you could also have a rear bench and seats seven passengers. The rear seats really come into the rear cargo area, so you wanna fold those down. They actually fold flat to maximize the rear cargo space. They've got a few tricks inside too with the tech. They've got a couple of mini-iPads mounted in the box of the headrest for the second row passengers then the front seat has the 10.2-inch touchscreen LCD. Also, the instrument cluster is an LCD panel. They've got these metal rings in it to kind of set aside the gauges to make the tachometer and the speedometer look like they're actual analog gauges, although we will also change theme depending on what kind of mode you're driving them. It's got eco and sport, that sort of thing. If Volkswagen puts us in the production, it will slot between the Tiguan and the Touareg. It will be one of their newest cars and they're just trying to figure out if they can make it work right now. I'm Wayne Cunningham here at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.

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