Their latest concept car, launched today at the Detroit Auto Show, is a mid-size crossover utility vehicle that aims right at the popular Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander.
The Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept previews a seven-seat crossover that VW seems likely to build as a 2015 model or later.
With the company's global design language married to what it calls the "masculinity" of American sport-utility vehicles.
The horizontal grille and rectangular LED headlights sit atop a more aggressive front end, but the concept blends crossover height--sitting on 21-inch aluminum alloy wheels--with the flat sides and clean lines of recent VWs.
The concept is being shown with a diesel plug-in hybrid powertrain, similar to the CrossCoupe four-door coupe concept also being shown at Detroit after its debut at last spring's Geneva Motor Show.
Any production version of the seven-seat crossover would likely be offered with a range of gasoline engines, and possibly the company's longstanding 2.0-liter TDI turbodiesel.
The 190-hp 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine is the same one used in other Volkswagen models, with a 40-kilowatt (54-hp) electric motor located between the engine and DSG transmission. The combined powertrain is rated at 306 horsepower.
All-wheel drive is provided not through a mechanical transfer case but by an 85-kW (114-hp) electric motor powering the two rear wheels, just as the Toyota Highland Hybrid does.
The 9.8-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack is located in the tunnel between the seats--the concept has three rows of two seats apiece, although a bench rear seat for three people would be used in production--and VW says it provides up to 14 miles of all-electric range.
For more from the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, be sure to hit our dedicated show hub.
Volkswagen provided airfare, lodging, and meals to enable High Gear Media to bring you this detailed preview from the Detroit Auto Show.