Volkswagen unveils T-Cross Breeze convertible SUV at Geneva

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In a nutshell, the T-Cross is a downsized, two-door, convertible Tiguan(Credit: C.C. Weiss / Gizmag)

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Convertible sport utilities are a tough sell, as most automakers know. Most enter the game and then quietly bow out amid the giggles and snickering. Volkswagen is now taking a turn, though only in conceptual form, with the new T-Cross Breeze concept debuting at Geneva.

VW says that the T-Cross is a glimpse of new, planned sport utilities coming to its lineup over the next couple of years. The company plans to augment the Tiguan and Touareg with three other crossover SUVs. In a nutshell, the T-Cross is a downsized, two-door, convertible Tiguan; though that description is a bit simplistic on its own.

Unlike the Tiguan, the T-Cross Breeze has a wider grille, more dynamic stance with wheels farther into the corners, and a new development in a double character line along the side panels. LED lighting is featured on the concept as well, including a more accentuated daytime running light signature at front.

The interior of the T-Cross is a big leap forward for Volkswagen. Not generally known for plush or stylish interior accoutrements, the T-Cross bucks the expected VW trend with a much more modern look. The concept's interior goal is to showcase the company's new human-machine interface design, which aims towards better usability and higher integration of technology into the cockpit. The use of 3D printing and hybrid fibers is also highlighted.

Additionally shown in the T-Cross Breeze is Volkswagen's new-generation digital dashboard called the Active Info Display. This is a grahics-based environment allowing customized and personalized information in a three-dimensional, animated display environment. Similar to apps on a smartphone, information can be organized and displayed on-screen per the vehicle designer's specification.

The addition of artificial intelligence elements which learn from and predict driver behavior to enhance the interior experience, driving experience, and safety is also being shown in the T-Cross concept. Radar and camera-based inputs add to the driver's informational display, showing not only clear parking and maneuvering information, but also off-road safety through terrain analysis.

Several updates were made to the new center dashboard screen, called the Head Unit. This large, tablet-like screen allows functions to be freely arranged and rearranged on a grid like apps on a tablet. This includes full integration of mapping that can be viewed traditionally, topographically, or in combinations.

Underpinning the VW T-Cross Breeze concept is a front-wheel drive architecture powered by a 1.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injection gasoline engine (TDI). The engine outputs 110 PS (81 kW) and 129 pound-feet (175 Nm) of torque. A seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission gears output. Engine stop-start and kinetic recovery are also part of the drivetrain's efficiency dynamics. VW predicts 47 mpg (5.0 l/100km) from the T-Cross Breeze.

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