The choice of fuel-efficient crossovers is rather limited right now. There's a Lexus RX, the diesel Audi Q5, and we're waiting on Mitsubishi's Outlander plug-in hybrid... but that's about it.

Volkswagen will preview one more at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show, in the form of an updated CrossBlue Coupe Concept.

The original plug-in hybrid CrossBlue Concept was shown earlier this year at the Shanghai Auto Show. Based on the VW group's MQB modular platform, and with a turbocharged gasoline V-6 and a twin electric motor setup, it promised 409 horsepower and combined economy of 78 mpg, with ample performance.

That those figures have now been adjusted to more realistic levels suggests Volkswagen is edging the CrossBlue closer to production.

It still uses a turbocharged gasoline V-6 and a plug-in hybrid, twin motor drivetrain, and maximum power is still over 400 horses--415 hp, to be exact. But that combined economy figure has dropped to 70 MPGe--a figure infinitely variable depending on your electric and gasoline use--while maximum range has dropped from 740 miles to 570 in hybrid mode.

Of that total range, around 13 miles can be achieved on the 9.8 kWh lithium-ion battery alone. Speeds of up to 75 mph are possible in EV mode, but the shorter range is clearly designed more for inner-city driving than highway speeds. This is confirmed by the use of a hold mode, letting drivers switch to electric power once they reach a city center.

Performance has changed slightly. There's enough urge from the engine and front and rear electric motors for a 5.8-second 0-60 mph sprint, while top speed is 147 mph. Peak torque is a healthy 516 lb-ft when both electric motors cut in to assist the V-6.

The CrossBlue's styling is instantly recognizable as a Volkswagen--carefully considered lines and intricate details take precedence over wild features and dramatic shapes.

Longer, wider and slightly lower than VW's Touareg SUV, it has a much more rakish profile than many in the class and a long, broad hood. 22-inch wheels sit under large arches, making the CrossBlue appear smaller than its dimensions suggest.

Inside, luxury is the name of the game--Nappa leather, chrome, aluminum and wood all make appearances in a carefully considered and very much production-looking cabin. Ambient lighting can be configured to match the driving mode--orange in Eco mode to match the CrossOrange exterior paintwork; red in Sport mode.

You can check out more launches from the Los Angeles show by heading to our dedicated show page.


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