Volkswagen continues to move steadily toward the launch of its long-anticipated mid-size SUV for the U.S.

Earlier this week at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, it introduced yet another concept, this one pointing toward an updated design for the future crossover.

The Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE Concept features a plug-in hybrid powertrain and styling that blends elements of the recent CrossBlue and CrossBlue Coupe concepts.

MORE: Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe Concept Updated For LA Auto Show

All three concepts preview the new seven-seat SUV that's expected to begin production in 2016 at Volkswagen's assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Some of the styling features may also find their way into other VW utility vehicles, most likely the next-generation Tiguan compact crossover.

The Cross Coupe GTE features a lower, more coupe-like roof profile than even the previous CrossBlue Coupe, plus the "GTE" badge used on the production Golf GTE and  Passat GTE plug-in hybrids sold in Europe.

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE concept, 2015 Detroit Auto Show

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE concept, 2015 Detroit Auto Show

In this case, the plug-in powertrain consists of a 3.6-liter gasoline V-6 and six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission, working with a 14.1-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and a pair of electric motors.

The gasoline engine and one electric motor drive the front wheels, while the second motor powers the rear wheels to provide all-wheel drive.

As with many other modern vehicles, the Cross Coupe GTE features multiple driving modes, including ones that allow the driver to prioritize battery recharging or hold a certain level of charge.

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VW estimates the combined system output at 355 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, enough for a 0-to-60-mph time of 6.0 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph.

Driven less vigorously, Volkswagen also says the Cross Coupe GTE will return 70 MPGe in electric mode, and has 20 miles of electric-only range.

Those figures match estimates for the CrossBlue Coupe, which also used a gasoline V-6 as the basis for its hybrid powertrain--although it produced 415 hp.

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE Concept live photos, 2015 Detroit Auto Show

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE Concept live photos, 2015 Detroit Auto Show

The original CrossBlue concept--on which the subsequent two models seem to be based--had a substantially different powertrain, with a diesel engine.

The still-unnamed production SUV teased by the various concepts won't appear until next year, possibly as a 2017 model.

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Given the number of variations Volkswagen has tried out so far, it will be interesting to see just what the final product looks like.

For more green-car news, check out our 2015 Detroit Auto Show news page.


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