With the new T-Cross Breeze, Volkswagen is making moves to position itself as a major player in the crowded SUV market.
“The T-Cross Breeze is a teaser for the most compact sport utility vehicle that Volkswagen plans to make – and the nucleus of a new SUV and convertible design in the compact sector,” said Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design for the Volkswagen Brand.
Although the T-Cross Breeze is only in the concept stage, elements of its cheeky design will most likely appear in other VW vehicles. Take the front end, for example: here the T-Cross Breeze is characterized by a wide radiator grille and narrow headlights. These details form the characteristic face of this compact SUV. The distinctive LED daytime running lights, combined with delicate arcs of light under the LED headlights and large LED rings around the foglights, underline the T-Cross Breeze’s unique design. The 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels feature a cool spiral design, and the rear end of the convertible SUV is dominated by the extremely wide trunk lid with integrated LED taillights.
The T-Cross Breeze uses a highly efficient 1.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI gasoline engine that has a stop-start system and recuperation mode. The 81 kW/110 PS engine also makes 175 Nm (129 lb-ft) of torque from just 1,500 rpm. The TSI engine drives the front wheels via a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Thus equipped, the SUV convertible sprints from 0 to 62 mph in just 10.3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 117 mph. Fuel consumption is also excellent at 47 mpg. In combination with the 10.6-gallon fuel tank, the concept car has a theoretical range of 497 miles.
The T-Cross Breeze is controlled almost entirely without buttons. With the exception of the control stalk, the power window switches and the buttons for opening and closing the soft top, all of the controls in the T-Cross Breeze are touch-sensitive surfaces or executed as completely new “by-wire” solutions.
The graphic environment in the T-Cross Breeze displays the driving information on a completely new, three-dimensional, animated display. These modern, stylish graphic panels can be freely programmed by the developers and make a deliberate break with classic round instruments.
Drivers can re-configure available information on the screens as they do with apps on a smartphone. Depending on the configuration, the display elements change shape, move, shrink, or are enlarged. This virtual stage is underlaid with a background consisting of a honeycomb structure, which forms the stylistic common thread running through the entire T-Cross Breeze, as similar elements are also found on the dashboard as well as around the radiator grille, for instance.
For those who love to crank their music loud, the T-Cross Breeze features a BeatsAudio sound system. The heart of this system is a subwoofer in the center console, between the driver and the front-seat passenger. The sound system’s 300 Watt, the 8-channel amplifier has a digital sound processor. High-end loudspeakers distributed around the interior deliver crystal-clear sound from the system and a special pattern visually emphasizes the BeatsAudio system. The sound system is compatible with the App-Connect suite of connectivity services, meaning that Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or MirrorLink can be used to control the playlists of virtually all current smartphones via the T-Cross Breeze’s interface.