Spied: New Volkswagen Three Row SUV Test Vehicle Spotted

Remember those Grand Cherokee-looking Volkswagen SUV’s spotted a few weeks back?  It seems that Volkswagen has ditched the Jeep mask for more traditional camouflage, hiding the production-spec head and tail lights, and bumpers, leaving the rest of the vehicle unobstructed.  With this new perspective and a few tidbits mentioned by the spy photographers at KGP Photography, there is quite a lot that we can safely speculate.
First of all, we can tell the shape is nearly a dead ringer for the Cross Coupe GTE (pictured above) first shown at the North American International Auto Show in 2015.  Sure, the details have been made to be much more production-friendly (no more integrated exhaust exits and door handle placement has changed), but we wouldn’t be shocked if this was much closer to production aesthetic than originally believed.VW3rowSUV.AZ05.KGP.ed
When it comes to size, KGP notes that it appears slightly larger than the current-gen Ford Explorer (198.3″ long), which is actually a full 9.5″ longer than the current Touareg. Now this SUV will make the most of this additional space by offering a third row, but it might also render Volkswagen’s next-generation Touareg a bit redundant in the North American lineup.  Seeing as this is an MQB-based vehicle that will be built in Chattanooga and the Touareg is currently constructed in Bratislava, it would likely come with a lower MSRP than the Touareg as well, further complicating the business case.
The photographers note that the exhaust sounded “much like a V6”, which for a vehicle of this size is completely understandable, with smart money being on either the existing or an updated version of VW’s 3.6 VR6.  But pondering for a moment the fact that the majority of SUVs are also offered as two-wheel drive models with smaller, more efficient power plants in certain markets, we wouldn’t be too surprised if Volkswagen offers a front wheel drive version with a 2.0T.  If Audi can put a 2.0T in the larger, heavier Q7, we see no reason one shouldn’t be fitted to the MQB-based three row SUV.

Volkswagen’s three row SUV will likely be shown later this year.  We’ll be sure to keep you updated with any news or intel as it comes across our desks.