CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee — Volkswagen has completed the first metal test body for a new midsize crossover vehicle that goes into production later this year in Tennessee.
The as-yet-unnamed model will be slotted between the compact Volkswagen Tiguan compact SUV and the full-size Volkswagen Touareg SUV, and is based on the Volkswagen CrossBlue concept that was unveiled three years ago at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.
In January 2014, VW executives confirmed production plans and later that year said the new crossover would go on sale at Volkswagen dealerships in the U.S. in early 2017, aimed at such competitors as the Honda Pilot, Hyundai Santa Fe and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The midsize crossover is built on VW's flexible MQB platform, which underpins several VW and Audi models, including the Volkswagen Golf and Jetta. It is designed to accommodate a variety of powertrains, including a standard four-cylinder gasoline engine as well as a hybrid gasoline-electric variant.
The crossover will be able to seat up to seven passengers in three rows.
VW said the crossover's test body was built at its Chattanooga plant to check "calibration of body shop equipment and processes," after which it will be "passed on for further testing and development."
Edmunds says: VW's new midsize crossover likely will be unveiled — and officially christened — later this year in full production trim.