Spied: Is This a Three-Row Volkswagen SUV With Barely Anything On?

What seems to be a barely disguised Volkswagen SUV has been photographed driving near the automaker’s southern California test facility.

If it is what we think, it’s an important vehicle for the automaker. A three-row SUV has long been part of Volkswagen’s U.S. growth plan, but now it might serve as its survival plan.

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$900M Chattanooga Plant Upgrade Escapes Volkswagen's Axe

Volkswagen will still invest $900 million in its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant despite company-wide cost cutting from its diesel disaster, the automaker announced Thursday.

The company had long planned on a mid-size, three-row SUV to compete in the U.S.. However, those plans were upended when the Environmental Protection Agency announced in September that Volkswagen’s diesels had been illegally polluting, and the company shed billions from its value in following days.

The three-row SUV, which may follow closely Volkswagen’s CrossBlue Concept, was announced last year for the Tennessee plant. Volkswagen said it would begin building the SUV at the end of 2016.

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Volkswagen: Golf-Based CUV May Slot Under Next-Gen Tiguan

With the Volkswagen Tiguan going bigger for the United States market in 2017, senior execs believe a smaller entry-level crossover could soon take its place.

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What Can The Chattanooga CrossBlue Do For You?
This much we know: the Volkswagen brand sold more new vehicles in America in 2012 than in any year since 1973. The company predicted moderate growth for the Volkswagen brand in 2013, but sales fell 7%. Still, by topping 400,000 units, Volkswagen sales were 35% higher than they were a decade prior. Through the first seven months of 2014, Volkswagen brand sales are down 14% in the United States, or 13% if we exclude the transitioning Golf lineup.We also know that the company’s bigger SUV, the Touareg, is tasked with taking the fight to premium utility vehicles. The smaller Tiguan, mostly unchanged since 2008, has 36% less cargo capacity behind the rear seats than Honda’s CR-V does.
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Volkswagen May Announce Location Of New SUV Production Next Week
Volkswagen's CrossBlue Said To See The Light In China

The Volkswagen CrossBlue and CrossBlue Coupe will be made in China by the Shanghai-Volkswagen joint venture, Carnewschina reports today. According to the report, the car will be built when Volkswagen’s new factory will open in Changsha in China’s Hunan Province.

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  • Dennis Howerton Nice article, Cory. Makes me wish I had bought Festivas when they were being produced. Kia made them until the line was discontinued, but Kia evidently used some of the technology to make the Rio. Pictures of the interior look a lot like my Rio's interior, and the 1.5 liter engine is from Mazda while Ford made the automatic transmission in the used 2002 Rio I've been driving since 2006. I might add the Rio is also an excellent subcompact people mover.
  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.