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Geneva 2016: Volkswagen T-Cross Breeze concept

Ignore the soft top By ,

I know, it’s a terrible name. And the idea behind this concept is somewhat sketchy, but the important thing is that we have to look beyond the T-Cross’ CUV-cum-cabrio-a-la-Evoque presence. 

As Management Board Chairman Dr. Herbert Diess said: "2016 is a year of new beginnings for Volkswagen". He is, of course, referring to #dieselgate and how the company must push forward and towards the future. And that future will involve the launch of many more SUVs and CUVs. Volkswagen intends on having one utility vehicle in each of the core segments. 

While this strategy is far from unique, as most automakers are on the same offensive line, VW introduced their T-Cross Breeze as a compact convertible to generate comments about the vehicle’s lack of a fixed top and not about the fact that there are more ‘utes on the way. It may be the first open-top SUV in its class, but I doubt it will be produced as such. If you can, imagine the T-Cross with two extra doors and a fixed roof. 

This is what should be concentrated on. Now that the Tiguan has been up-sized, as will be the Touareg, there is room for a compact crossover that will undoubtedly be very popular. In Europe at least, orders for the new Tiguan are already very strong. Sadly, North Americans will not be seeing the new Tigger for nearly two years. On the subject of this vehicle, two wheelbases are built and we, like the Chinese, will get the longer of the two. Potential exists for VW to bring both sizes to our market, but that remains to be seen. 

The production version of the T-Cross Breeze will likely feature a front fascia much in line with the concept. Its proportions are well balanced, while overhangs are next to non-existent. If anything, I really like the wheels on this concept. About the roof, little was said about the mechanism itself; however, it looks as though it’s been lifted from the Golf cabrio.
 
The cabin is also a window into VW’s future design and layout ideas. The interactive cockpit has touch-sensitive surfaces and newly developed “by-wire” solutions to replace conventional switches and buttons ― the look is clean and efficient. The T-Cross also offers a 300W BeatsAudio sound system and the all-important raised driving position. 

The Volkswagen T-Cross Breeze gets its power from a 1.0L TSI turbocharged gasoline engine. It sends 110 horsepower and 129 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels via a 7-speed DSG.

The T-Cross Breeze is 4,133mm (162.7”) long or slightly longer than the very cool CrossPolo. It is significantly wider than the Polo, and as you can imagine, it is much taller, as well.

No details are available yet as to when we can expect to see the production version of the T-Cross, but I’d guess roughly two years for Europe and minimally three years for North America. Obviously, pricing is far from being set, but it will be cheaper than the Tiguan.

Volkswagen T-Cross Breeze concept
Photo: M. St-Pierre
Volkswagen T-Cross Breeze concept