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Volkswagen has taken the opportunity of the Detroit Motor Show to showcase an American-only concept: it’s the CrossBlue SUV.

Weighing in at around the same size as an Audi Q7 - and thus, huge - Volkswagen reckons that should this ever make production, it will slot in between the Tiguan and the Touareg in VW’s SUV line-up.

Underneath the Tonka-truck exterior sits a diesel-electric hybrid setup mated to a DSG gearbox and four-wheel-drive, strapped to the VW Group’s new MQB platform (the same platform underpinning 10 million VW group products). So you’re looking at a 187bhp TDI engine with 295lb ft of torque, together with a lithium-ion battery pack - laying across the central tunnel - powering one electric motor on the front axle and one on the rear axle.

Altogether, the CrossBlue’s drivetrain - much like the Cross Coupe concept shown at last year’s Detroit show - produces 300bhp and a not inconsiderable 516lb ft of torque. 0-60mph is quoted as seven seconds, while the top speed is 127mph (or 75mph if running in electric-only mode).

And here’s the crux: thanks to that diesel engine and electric setup, the CrossBlue is capable of returning 134.5mpg. That’s frugal. Inside, there are three rows of two seats, though production versions would have a three-seater bench on the second row to turn it into a proper seven-seater. There’s loads of head and legroom, a 335-litre boot (815 litres with the third row folded), aluminium surrounds inside and “dark-stained banana tree wood accents”. Handy if you ever get peckish on the move…

US Volkswagen CEO Jonathan Browning reckons the CrossBlue “is exactly the right type of vehicle for the US market.” Americans, do you agree?

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