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VW hints at larger SUV

By Frederick Olson, Automotive Contributor
Published On: Jan 14 2013 12:19:57 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 14 2013 05:28:06 PM CST

Image: Volkswagen

DETROIT -

Volkswagen thinks the American market is ready for another large SUV, and the company thinks that SUV should be a hybrid.

The company showed off its CrossBlue concept Monday at the 2013 North American International Auto Show.  Volkswagen leaders say it’s just a concept for now, but it could make its way into production.

“The CrossBlue concept is exactly the right type of vehicle for the U.S. market,” said Jonathan Browning, Volkswagen Group of America President and CEO. “It combines a truly versatile interior layout with sophisticated Volkswagen design, to give a unique and supremely stylish offering in this segment.”

The concept combines a diesel engine with two electric motors, a dual-clutch automatic transmission and an electric all-wheel-drive system.  In all-electric mode, the large SUV could go for 14 miles without burning a drop of diesel.

The concept has six seats in three rows.  However, if it makes it to production, VW said a seven-seat version would be available.

The price of the CrossBlue would be between Volkswagen’s other SUVs, the Tiguan and Touareg, which both seat five.