Volkswagen introduces open top SUV concept

(March 1, 2016) GENEVA — The new T-Cross Breeze will take center stage on the Volkswagen stand at the 86th Geneva Motor Show today, “the first open-top SUV in its class and, at the same time, an affordable, cheeky cabriolet with a raised seating position that gives you a perfect view.” The concept underlines that Volkswagen is making mobility more of an experience than ever before.

“At the moment the T-Cross Breeze is purely a concept, but we can well imagine putting such a convertible on the market as a production model. This is an affordable fun car that is also entirely suitable for everyday use—it’s a genuine ‘People’s Car,’” said Dr Herbert Diess, chairman of the Board of Management Volkswagen Brand.

The concept car, which is equipped with a 108-horsepower 1.0 liter TSI turbocharged and direct-injection gasoline engine gives a glimpse at a new model series. Klaus Bischoff, head of Design for the Volkswagen Brand, explained: “The T-Cross Breeze is a teaser for the most compact sport utility vehicle that Volkswagen plans to make — and the nucleus of a new SUV and convertible design in the compact sector.”

“The T-Cross Breeze reflects the new start for our brand”, adds Bischoff. “We want to stir enthusiasm for "New Volkswagen." In this instance we are doing that with an unprecedented vehicle concept in this class; a completely redesigned cockpit and design that is equally crisp and expressive.”

In future, Volkswagen aims to offer an exciting SUV in every relevant segment. It will start this ambitious product onslaught with the market launch of the new Tiguan, which begins at the end of April in Germany and in early May in the rest of Europe. On the major overseas markets the new Tiguan will also be available with an extended wheelbase. This will be followed by a new mid-size SUV for the U.S. and China as well as the well-known premium segment Touareg sport utility vehicle.

Below the Tiguan, two new SUV models will make their debut: in the Golf class there will be an SUV that is similar to the T-Roc concept car, while the T-Cross Breeze moves into the Polo size range.

The T-Cross Breeze uses a highly efficient 1.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI gasoline engine that has a stop-start system and recuperation mode. The 108-horsepower engine also makes 129 lb-ft of torque from just 1,500 rpm.

The TSI engine drives the front wheels via a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Thus equipped, the 2,756-pound SUV convertible sprints from 0 to 62 mph in just 10.3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 117 mph.

At a length of 162.7 inches, the T-Cross Breeze is slightly longer than a CrossPolo. It boasts a long wheelbase of 101.0 inches, resulting in short body overhangs, thereby guaranteeing sporty proportions.

The brand’s unmistakable design DNA ensures that each model can immediately be recognized as a Volkswagen, even when you can’t see the VW logo. The design of the new T-Cross Breeze also underlines the fact that each series and vehicle genre is perceived as completely independent within the brand. The new Tiguan, set to launch this spring, is the first production model to sport the new, authentic, SUV design. The T-Cross Breeze concept will follow this charismatic style, while at the same time clearly demonstrating the fact that it is an independent SUV series.