Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe 79 mpg Plug-in Hybrid Concept and iBeetle Debut in Shanghai

By Paul Riegler on 19 April 2013
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Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe Concept

Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe Concept

At the Shanghai Auto Show, Volkswagen unveiled the CrossBlue Coupe concept, a five-seat gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid SUV capable of 79 mpg or 2.97 l/100 km as well as the iBeetle, a iPhone app and in-vehicle docking station.

The CrossBlue shows off a new version of Volkswagen’s design language including a dramatic front fascia and character lines that lower the car’s visual center of gravity.

The 415-horsepower hybrid powerplant is capable of reaching a top speed of 147 mph (236.5 km/h) and can go from 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) in 5.9 seconds.  It has a 21.2-gallon (80.25 liter) tank, giving the CrossBlue a theoretical range of 720 miles (1,159 kilometers).  It can also run as a zero emissions electric vehicle for up to 21 miles (33.8 kilometers) at a maximum speed of 75 mph (120.75 km/h).

The CrossBlue is based on VW’s new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB), a system that could be fitted with conventional four- and six-cylinder engines running on a variety of fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and CNG.

Volkswagen also introduced the iBeetle, a special edition of the Beetle and Beetle convertible that more fully integrates iPhone and iOS functionality with the car.  In addition to actual connectivity, which can be done wirelessly or via a dock, the car comes with special badging and exterior trim.  Exterior color choices are also keyed to the iPhone concept, with Candy White, Oryx White Mother of Pearl Effect, Black Monochrome, Deep Black Pearl Effect, Platinum Grey, or Reflex Silver.

The app itself has a wide variety of functionality.  In addition to iTunes support for music, Spotify allows users to stream songs and online radio stations.  Expert gives drivers access to instruments such as a G-Meter, oil and coolant temperature, a chronometer, and a compass, while Trainer allows the driver to compare driving times and distances as well as fuel economy between different routes between two points.  Reader reads iPhone messages to the driver and also displays messages from Facebook and Twitter, Postcard sends friends a digital postcard showing the Beetle’s current location, and Photo sends photos taken inside the car to social networks.  The app also “rewards” drivers with stickers for completing certain tasks as Milestones.