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 |  Mar 07 2012, 7:51 AM

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The world’s most fuel efficient SUV, the Volkswagen Cross Coupe TDI, just debuted at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show.

For the first time, an automaker combined an electric hybrid drivetrain with a diesel engine, opening the door to two of the most effective and mass-produced fuel technologies working as one.

As a result, Volkswagen claims the Cross Coupe TDI can get up to 130 mpg. The powertrain takes advantage of two electric motors that work simultaneously with a turbo direct-injected diesel engine. Despite being so efficient, even with all-wheel drive, the truck has 302 hp and a top speed of almost 137 mph, which is impressive for such a high compression-ratio engine.

The Cross Coupe TDI pictured above also accelerates from 0-60 mph in about 6.5 seconds. Despite that power, it can still run in all-electric mode to offer zero-emissions driving for almost 28 miles.

That isn’t very far, but bear in mind that the idea behind the Cross Coup isn’t to be a range-extended EV, but a super-efficient all-wheel drive, which it achieves brilliantly.

GALLERY: Volkswagen Cross Coupe TDI

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 |  Mar 04 2012, 4:07 PM

German automaker Volkswagen looks to put an end of the debate of hybrid vs. diesel, by combining both technologies into one Cross Coupe Concept. First unveiled in gasoline-electric form at the Tokyo Motor Show, this new version is set to debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

The TDI powerplant from VW is setup to work alongside a pair of electric motors, giving it a possible 130-mpg. Even better though is that Volkswagen claims this concept makes 302-hp and can hit a top speed of 137-mph. Such a concept is interesting, considering that diesels are extremely popular in Europe, while hybrids are not. In America however, it’s the complete opposite with hybrid and electric vehicles roaming around and diesels being less popular.

Combining the two in order to maximize fuel efficiency and power could be an interesting solution and a glimpse into the future.

 |  Nov 30 2011, 4:23 AM

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Volkswagen unveiled the Cross Coupe Concept today at the Tokyo Motor Show, looking to change the way we view SUVs in the future. The Cross Coupe Concept is an all-wheel-drive, plug-in hybrid and looks as if a traditional four-door coupe and an SUV got melded together in the design center.

This concept is also Volkswagen’s first public vehicle sporting their new engineering design based on their new “modular transverse matrix” or MQB for short. In terms of dimensions, the concept is longer than a Golf and shorter than a Tiguan while the width and the height also lands it square in between the two VW counterparts.

Visually, the Cross Coupe Concept appears compact, but is dynamic in its appearance – thanks in part to a set of wheels that appear lifted off a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. While it does sport traditional Volkswagen design elements, it also features a completely new light and grille treatment. The rear has steeply sloping angles and new light clusters combined with traditional SUV hefty bumpers.

Under the hood, Volkswagen is showing off two electric motors – one in the front, one in the rear – combined with a TSI direct-injection turbo engine. The front electric motor generates 54-hp and 133 lb-ft of torque while the rear generates 114-hp and 199 lb-ft of torque. Overall power comes in at 261-hp allowing the concept to go 0-62 mph in just seven seconds and has a top speed of 125-mph. It can travel up to 25-miles on just electric power.

Lastly, Volkswagen is showing off another innovation in the concept thanks to its all-wheel-drive system with electric drive shaft. The rear axle is driven by the rear electric motor while power is supplied to the rear electric motor by the one at the front. This means that the flow of electrical energy replaces the conventional transfer of power by a drive shaft, creating room in the central tunnel to hold the lithium-ion battery. All of that means a very low center of gravity giving the concept dynamic handling capabilities.

GALLERY: Volkswagen Cross Coupe Concept Official Photos

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GALLERY: VW Cross Coupe Concept Debut

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Click here to see AutoGuide’s complete 2011 Tokyo Motor Show Coverage

See video of the Cross Coupe below:

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