Volkswagen launched their new diesel-electric plug-in hybrid SUV, the CrossBlue, recently at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. The SUV would certainly appeal to consumers needing a larger vehicle but still want to reduce their carbon footprint.
Though the vehicle is a hybrid, it is not the usual gasoline-electric variety, but rather sports a more powerful diesel engine. Even though diesel hybrids promise much in terms of better fuel efficiency, the adverse health problems of diesel fumes remain a concern.
The diesel engine of the CrossBlue produces a torque of 516 pound-feet and also generates 306 horsepower, but still manages to consume only an estimate 35 MPG when in hybrid mode and the equivalent of 89 MPG in electric mode, achieving a range of 14 miles in electric only mode.
The diesel engine which generates 190 hp is from the TDI range, and is helped by front and rear electric motors of 40 kW (54 hp) and 85 kW (114 hp) respectively. The transmission is provided by a dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission.
According to VW, the CrossBlue automatically runs in zero emission mode and when fully charged, the 9.8 kWh lithium-ion battery provides a driving range of 14 miles. Also, in order for the driving range to be optimised, the top speed is cut down to 75 mph from 127 mph. VW also add that the total driving range is 661 miles when the fuel tank of 18.5-gallon capacity is fully filled with ultra-low-sulfur-diesel fuel.
With nothing on the pricing and production front, it is expected that these and other details will be supplied by VW in the coming months.