Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has announced that the automaker has approved a midsize crossover for the North American market. The as-yet-unnamed CUV will seat seven is already in development and will launch in 2016.
The new crossover will likely resemble the CrossBlue Concept that VW revealed a year ago at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. That concept had similar dimensions to the Ford Explorer, and we expect for the dimensions to carry over to the production version.
Architecturally, the new crossover will likely utilize VW’s new flexible MQB architecture that currently underpins the new Golf, and will make its way to nearly every other VW (with the exception of the Touareg and Phaeton) as each VW vehicle gets replaced with a new version over the next few years. The new MQB-based crossover will be larger than the luxury-oriented and slow-selling Touareg that shares its architecture with the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne.
Although no further details were announced, we expect VW’s familiar four- and six-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines to be available, with a gasoline-burning forced-induction 3.0-liter V6 being a possible range-topper. A hybrid powertrain, as seen on the CrossBlue Concept, is another possibility.