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THE MOST FUEL-EFFICIENT SUV

| 07/03/2012 | 0 Comments

Last year, Volkswagen unveiled the Cross Coupé concept at the Tokyo Motor Show, powered by a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid system with low fuel consumption of 2.7 litres per 100km. This year, a new Cross Coupé is making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, but with an even more frugal drivetrain that promises to return a combined cycle figure of 1.8 litres per 100km.

Making this possible is a drivetrain consisting of a turbodiesel direct injection engine and two electric motors, which together produce 306PS (225kW) of power. That’s enough to propel the 1,858kg Cross Coupé to a top speed of 220kmh (137mph).
The Cross Coupé uses the new 190PS TDI EA 288 engine, in this case mated to a six-speed DSG transmission. Added to this is a lithium-ion battery in the centre console, plus a 40kW electric motor at the front and an 85kW motor at the rear. Together, these can propel the Cross Coupé from zero to 62 mph in 6.5 seconds.
The 2.0-litre TDI engine alone provides the Cross Coupé with 400Nm of torque from just 1,600rpm, while the front E-motor provides 180Nm) and the rear E-motor a further 270Nm. The drive system can provide a maximum of 700Nm at any one time.
In pure electric mode, the Cross Coupé can cover up to 45km (28miles) at speeds of up to 120kmh (75mph). This is sufficient for the majority of commuters to make the journey to work with zero emissions. Two pure electric modes are available: E-mode (CITY) and E-mode (SPORT). In the former, only the rear motor is used, while in the latter, both E-motors are used. In both pure electric modes, the turbodiesel engine is decoupled from the drivetrain and shut off. If the TDI is needed (for example if the battery’s charge is depleted), it seamlessly re-engages within fractions of a second.
The main battery for the E-motors is in the centre tunnel of the Cross Coupé, and consists of eight lithium-ion modules. The battery has a capacity of 9.8kWh, and operates at approximately 370 Volts.  The battery can either be charged while driving, or from an external 230 Volt power supply.
Should the driver wish to charge the battery while the vehicle is moving, there are two ways of doing this. By selecting CHARGE mode, at the press of a button, the TDI engine will supply power to the battery. The battery can also be charged by the electric motors operating as generators when the driver takes their foot off the brake or the accelerator. Should the battery not need charging, when the driver lifts their foot from the brake or accelerator, the Cross Coupé shuts off all motors and engines, and ‘coasts’, providing zero-emissions driving.
For off-road driving, there is an OFFROAD mode, which ensures all four wheels are driven. In this case, the TDI engine powers the front wheels, and also provides energy to the front electric motor. The front electric motor does not, however, power the front wheels. Instead, it becomes the sole source of electrical energy for the rear motor, operating as a kind of ‘electric propshaft’.  Because power for the electric motors is provided via the TDI engine, OFFROAD mode is possible even if the battery charge is depleted.
For the sportiest driving experience, the driver can select SPORT mode.  This utilises the maximum power of both E-motors and the TDI engine.  Similarly for minimum emissions (but with TDI engine engaged), a CITY mode keeps energy consumption to a minimum. In theory, the Cross Coupé’s 55-litre fuel tank thus gives it a range of 1,287km (800 miles).
As well as a long range, the Cross Coupé has an especially long wheelbase for its overall size, at 2,630mm. Its 4,357mm length means it is longer than a Golf, and shorter than a Tiguan, but short overhangs (855mm front, 860mm rear) create a more dynamic appearance. In width (1868mm) and height (1,523mm) the Cross Coupé sits between the Golf and Tiguan. Track widths of 1,585mm (front) and 1,613mm (rear) give it a dynamic and muscular appearance, enhanced by 20-inch wheels, shod with 265/45 tyres.
Inside, there are four individual seats with plastic shells. With all the seats in position, the boot has a 380-litre capacity; with rear seats folded this rises to 1,230 litres.
Programmable instruments behind the steering wheel provide different information depending on the mode that the Cross Coupé is in – CITY, OFFROAD or SPORT. For example, in OFFROAD mode, the instruments display gyroscope, compass and topographical map. Each mode not only displays different information, but also a unique colour scheme.
The Cross Coupé is a concept vehicle, and there are no current plans to put it into production.

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