Volkswagen’s anticipated mid-sized crossover is behind hailed as a cure-all for a brand beset by regulatory problems, lawsuits and massive fines – all a result of its disastrous diesel-emmissions scandal. The problem is, nobody really knows whether the VW crossover, which is still unnamed, will really be the panacea that VW desperately needs. The car is expected to launch in America in the first quarter of 2017.
Now photographers have seen the care testing on roads near the research and development lab in Southern California. The vehicle is definitely three-row crossover that is a bit larger than the Tiguan. In fact, it is also larger than the upcoming long-wheelbase Tiguan that will launch in the USA in the second quarter of 2017.
The crossover has been a long time coming for Volkswagen, which seems to be entering the market segment nearly a decade after it first emerged. The vehicle was initially confirmed for production in 2014, but had been discussed internally since 2011.
The production vehicle specs were previewed last year by several auto journalists. A production model was shown off, under the name “Cross Blue” in 2013 at the Detroit Auto Show. The test vehicles proportions are similar to the production model. The vehicle is almost 200 inches long and more than 78 inches wide. There is a creased belt line that runs on top of the wheel arches.
However, other details from the production model are missing, and it looks as if VW deliberately hid the features to keep them a mystery. The body does not have the usual camouflage that automakers use to hide their designs, but what is seen is a car that seems unfinished. The grille is missing, the headlights appear to have deliberately been made to resemble a Jeep Cherokee, and there are X badges on the front and rear that disguise the fact that they come from VW. Auto news journalists were first tipped off about the cars when they showed up in L.A. two weeks ago. VW is one of the few car companies who register test cars in the state.
The crossover will be situated on VW’s new MQB Platform. The MQB will allow for greater headroom for passengers. The size, which is most similar to a Honda Pilot, offers room for seven adults to sit comfortably. It may borrow the Passat’s engine, which is a 3.6 liter V6 with all-wheel and front-wheel drive. Some believe VW may offer a 2.0 liter supercharged version as well as hybrid and plugin hybrid versions.
The vehicle could break the $50,000 starting price mark, making it one of VW’s most expensive models. Other crossover vehicles are expected to join this first effort in the near future. The crossover will be manufactured at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga late this year.