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VW CrossCoupe TDI concept: A hypermiler's wet dream (photos)

This flexible concept combines a turbodiesel engine with plug-in electrification technology. The result is high efficiency (and a lot of torque).

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Antuan Goodwin
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1 of 8 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Volkswagen CrossCoupe TDI concept

Do you like hybrids? How about plug-ins? What are your thoughts on clean diesels, direct injection, and turbocharging technology? If you answered positively to all of those queries, VW may have the vehicle for you.

Back to 2012 Geneva auto show.

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2 of 8 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Volkswagen CrossCoupe TDI concept

The latest CrossCoupe concept, unveiled at the Geneva auto show, starts with a 2-liter turbcharged and direct-injected (TDI) diesel engine, then augments it with electric motors on the front and rear axles. The concept's complex drivetrain gives it a variety of driving modes.

Back to 2012 Geneva auto show.

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3 of 8 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Volkswagen CrossCoupe TDI concept

Is it just me or is the CrossCoupe's grill similar to that of the Honda Accord Crosstour?

Back to 2012 Geneva auto show.

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4 of 8 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Volkswagen CrossCoupe TDI concept

A zero-emissions EV mode uses the rear electric motor to drive only the rear wheels until the lithium ion battery pack is exhausted. Electric only range is about 28 miles and up to a speed of 75 mph. Plug-in technology allows drivers to maximize the EV-only range by charging between trips.

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5 of 8 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Volkswagen CrossCoupe TDI concept

While in EV mode, the TDI engine and front electric motor are deactivated and disengaged from the front wheels to reduce drag. When needed, one or both can be instantaneously re-engaged to provide power to the front axle.

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6 of 8 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Volkswagen CrossCoupe TDI concept

For example, an all-wheel-drive "Off Road" mode uses the TDI engine to drive the front wheels in concert with the electric motor on the rear axle. In this mode, the front electric motor works as a generator, converting some of the TDI's mechanical energy into electricity for the rear axle.

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7 of 8 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Volkswagen CrossCoupe TDI concept

A boost mode brings all three motors and the battery pack into play to deliver a total of 516 pound-feet of torque, split unevenly between the CrossCoupe's four wheels, for enthusiastic driving for as long as the battery lasts. While boosting, 60 mph can be reached from a stop in about 6.5 seconds--about as fast as a VW GTI.

Back to 2012 Geneva auto show.

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8 of 8 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Volkswagen CrossCoupe TDI concept

When the lithium ion battery is depleted, the TDI engine steps in and the CrossCoupe becomes a standard front-wheel-drive crossover until recharged. VW claims that the concept has a theoretical driving range of 800 miles between its 14.5-gallon fuel tank and the 9.8kWh battery pack--which works out to about 55 mpg.

Back to 2012 Geneva auto show.

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