By on May 5, 2016

Volkswagen Chattanooga

Volkswagen’s “Everything Americans want in one lovely package” SUV has been talked about and teased seemingly forever, but now there’s some physical evidence to look at.

The automaker just issued a photo of the midsize SUV’s first assembled test body at its Chattanooga, Tennessee facility, where production of the model kicks off later this year.

A three-row SUV was one project not affected by VW’s diesel emissions scandal and its astronomical financial fallout. The planned $900 million investment in the Chattanooga plant went ahead even after the Environmental Protection Agency dropped its stink bomb.

The yet-unnamed model is an extremely important product for the company, which plans to focus heavily on lucrative crossovers and SUVs to recapture lost market share in the U.S. That’s after they finish buying back (or fixing) all of those nasty diesels.

Drawing inspiration from the 2013 CrossBlue concept vehicle, the new SUV will hit showrooms in early 2017. There’s not much to see in the photo, aside from the hood and bare interior, but elements of the hood resemble that of a partially disguised prototype photographed near VW’s California test facility last month.

[Image: Volkswagen of America]

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6 Comments on “What a Tease: Volkswagen’s Three-Row SUV (Almost) Lives!...”

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    It will all come down to pricing even if the CUV is competitive otherwise. VW will need to lure customers in with mucho cash on the hood to offset the bad diesel gate press over the past year.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    2017 seems like a ridiculous timeframe. You’d think it would have been here sometime this year.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree. I’ve got to say that vw seems to take a long time getting production underway in recent years. I’m not sure if that’s internally driven by mkiv inspired policies or if it’s just that we’re kept very up to date on vw happenings in general. Even before the recent scandal there’s been an extraordinary ink to sales ratio for that brand.

      Or it could be mqb related. This is the first of those products out of TN. They’ve got to be building a supply base from basically scratch there.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Doctor

        I’d imagine that there would be a lot of tooling and process optimization and validation to get the MQB system up and running at Chattanooga.

        Odds are that they want to get production dialed in and everything running well in order to prevent any quality issues given VW even more bad press.

  • avatar

    I wonder if they all have their sleeping bags for overnighter’s. It’s a race between VW and Tesla to be last-to-market!

  • avatar

    A 2017MY vehicle inspired by a 4 year-old concept that looked like a then-3-year-old Jetta.

    Its been gestating so long, will anyone even care at the time it debuts?

    This is like the Thunderbird or the NSX or anything Alfa promises.

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