Volkswagen T-Cross Breeze compact SUV concept revealed at 2016 Geneva Motor Show; previews future range of global CUVs with a possible small capacity petrol engines
Volkswagen Management Board Chairman Dr. Herbert Diess neatly summarised his company’s presence at the 86th running of the Geneva International Motor Show as “2016 is a year of new beginnings for Volkswagen”. Amidst all the offenses sucked in by the German car manufacturer with the defeat device software scandal on its diesel powerplants, the brand image has faced every wrong way possible since late last year.
The company was completely shaken off in the media and Toyota re-emerged as the top volume-selling brand as a consequence. To get back the lost glory, it’s on a re-construction phase and at the ongoing Swiss motoring exhibition, the two new products unveiled were labelled as future prospects in terms of mobility.
One is the new iteration of the small city run around Up! with its new smartphone integration and ‘up! beats’ premium sound system technologies and the other taking all by surprise was the global premiere of the T-Cross Breeze compact utility vehicle. The subcompact SUV was anticipated to be a conventional take on a global production model but instead it turned out to be a two-seater convertible raising some eyebrows.
There are very few open-top SUVs out there and in affordable segments we have none in our domestic market. Moreover, the folding-roof compact convertibles are of less demand worldwide. While Volkswagen expressed its likelihood in having SUVs in every segment possible, it described the T-Cross Breeze as the “most” compact SUV that will foster the range of Sub Utility Vehicles currently being under consideration.
Wouldn’t be awe-struck if it goes down as another design study but the styling and the interiors had laid down the path Volkswagen could head towards in the affordable future premium or compact SUV models. The design of the drop-top crossover is brand new and could harbinger styling of the production CUVs in the coming years.
The definitive appearance up front features headlamps melting into the grille, strong character lines, clamshell bonnet, body cladding, hexagonal meshed air intakes, etc. More interestingly inside the cabin, Volkswagen tried to minimise the switchgears and were fairly successful as you can only spot the transmission controls and window operating switches.
In place of physical switches and dials, it has two big touch screens that display required in-car information and the “predictive driving profile” function can adapt the dampers based on the surface conditions and helps in navigating through terrain. The concept is propelled by a tiny 1.0-litre petrol engine developing 108 hp and can return a range of 500 miles in the Euro cycle fuel economy.
On an overview, the T-Cross Breeze concept signals a new compact SUV globally, VW’s ability to eke out more mileage from small petrol engines and the touch screen based dashboard that integrates pretty much everything. With the sub-4m VW Ameo sedan entering the Indian market soon, a sub compact SUV can’t be shrugged out of the brand’s future product line-up.