Perhaps the most interesting of the new vehicles unveiled at this year's North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is a new midsize SUV from Volkswagen that merges VW diesel with electric hybrid drive called the Cross Blue.
The Cross Blue SUV is especially designed for the American market. It is a midsize SUV with 6- or 7-seat options. The Cross Blue has a diesel TDI engine along with 2 electric motors and has an EPA rating of 89 MPGe. With a 9.8 kWh lithium ion battery pack it has an all-electric driving range of 21 miles (33 km).
Volkswagen has been working on diesel hybrid concepts for a while, and Mercedes had a diesel hybrid concept SUV a few years back that had a number of similarities to the VW Cross Blue. In 2010, Peugeot introduced the first diesel hybrid production car, although it was only available in Europe. But this still seems like a mainstream breakthrough for the idea of a clean diesel hybrid vehicle in an appropriate package.
The Cross Blue SUV is expected to begin production at VW's plant in Tennessee in 2015.
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