02 March 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Polo-sized Volkswagen T-Cross Breeze SUV unveiled at 2016 Geneva motor show

2016 Volkswagen T-Cross Breeze

At the start of this week’s Geneva motor show, Volkswagen unveiled a new model at the Swiss expo which leads a ‘broad offensive’ of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) from the German brand. The T-Cross Breeze (yes, we know, a silly name), the soft-top is an unexpected punch to launch, according to Head of Design Klaus Bischoff, ‘New Volkswagen’.

While the T-Cross Breeze solicited ‘copycat Range Rover Evoque Convertible’-type comments from the motoring press – and there’s no denying there is a similarity – what’s more important is that underneath the T-Cross Breeze is rumoured to be a version of the new ‘A0’ small car version of the Volkswagen Group’s ‘MQB’ platform.

Modular chassis
So, essentially, the T-Cross Breeze is the first member of the sixth-generation 2018 Volkswagen Polo family, which will also use the smallest version yet of VW’s modular chassis underpinnings. To us, that’s much more important than similarities to a Range Rover model. At 4,133mm long, the T-Cross Breeze is 146mm longer than a CrossPolo, but looks much larger.

Echoing its size in the ‘New Volkswagen’ line-up, the T-Cross Breeze is powered by a 110bhp version of Volkswagen’s new turbocharged 1.0-litre TSI petrol engine, which develops 175Nm/129lb ft of torque from 1,500rpm. Linked to a seven-speed DSG gearbox, the 0-62mph dash is dispatched in a hair-ruffling 10.3 seconds, while top speed is 116mph.

1,250kg, 155g/km CO2
The 1,250kg T-Cross Breeze also belies its image with its environmental credentials: CO2 emissions are 115g/km, while Volkswagen states that active lifestyle types can drive 497 miles on one tank of fuel.

It cites Geneva to Cannes or Venice as a typical journey, but we think most T-Crosses will be seen ferrying little people around at the start and end of rush hours.

As with the BUDD-e all-electric ‘T2’-type reinvention concept revealed earlier in the year at the 2016 Consumer Electromics Show, the T-Cross Breeze previews a Volkswagen interior of the not-too-distant future. A ‘Human-Machine Interface’ (HMI) replaces traditional buttons with interactive touchscreen surfaces.

Gesture control is present, too, along with the 300W Beats Audio sound system already seen in the new Up and Polo Beats special editions, which are also on show in Switzerland.

Five-door SUV
It is expected that a more conventional five-door SUV model based on the T-Cross Breeze concept will be launched in 2018, and it is likely to keep the T-Cross name. The car is expected to form the bottom step of Volkswagen’s new SUV ladder, which will rise from the larger Golf-based T-Roc, through Tiguan, Tiguan XL, the new ‘mid-size SUV’ and end up at the Touareg.

Volkswagen states that the T-Cross Breeze is a ‘progressive SUV’, which has the ‘appeal’ of a ‘modern soft-top convertible’ and is a ‘cool, affordable compact car’.

Of course we won’t know if the marketing watchwords will speak the truth until the production version is unveiled, but if the T-Cross Breeze hints at some of the styling flourishes of the sixth-generation Polo, then the small car’s image could be in for a bit of a change…

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