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Volkswagen to Take on HR-V, CX-3 With its Own Subcompact CUV

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/24/2015 Jason Udy

As part of its effort to increase the number of SUVs it offers in the U.S., Volkswagen is working on a subcompact crossover that would slot below the Tiguan. Such a model would challenge the likes of the Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V. The automaker is also executing bolder styling, previewed by the many concepts shown recently, on its upcoming models, Automotive News reports.

Volkswagen to Take on HR-V, CX-3 With its Own Subcompact CUV

The new subcompact crossover, which would compete against the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3 crossovers, is said to have a similar footprint to that of the Golf hatchback it will be based on. According to the report, Volkswagen’s unnamed subcompact CUV’s size and proportions would be the same as the T-Roc concept from the 2014 Geneva auto show (pictured above).

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VW is also readying the next Tiguan CUV for launch. While the upcoming redesigned Tiguan shares the same proportions as the current model, it grows 2.2 inches to 176.7 inches long overall. The automaker is also adding a long-wheelbase, three-row variant that is 184.6 inches overall with much of the extra room going to the cargo area. The long-wheelbase Tiguan arrives in 2017, and VW recently confirmed that it will be built at its Puebla, Mexico plant. Additionally, the new subcompact crossover and redesigned Tiguan models will feature bolder styling than what Volkswagen currently offers. The new Tiguan is said to feature shorter front and rear overhangs, rounded wheel arches, and wraparound taillights.

Volkswagen T Roc concept at Geneva© Provided by MotorTrend Volkswagen T Roc concept at Geneva

Although its conservative styling does well in Europe and China, Volkswagen believes it needs more aggressive styling to attract customers in the U.S.

"This has to be bold. It has to be a statement," Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen brand chief designer, told Automotive News.

That bolder styling will also carry over to the upcoming midsize crossover that will be built in the automaker’s Chattanooga factory. About the size of the Audi Q7, the unnamed crossover will feature similar styling to the Cross Coupe GTE concept that debuted in Detroit earlier this year, including the grille, creased hood, distinct side character beltline, headlights, and side vents. The refreshed midsize Passat sedan will also feature bolder styling with a completely redesigned front clip and new taillights.

Volkswagen used feedback from consumer clinics for its new styling direction, with U.S. consumers wanting more aggressive styling for its SUVs.

"The competition is brutal, and we are not allowed to bring cars into production that do not win clinic testing," said Bischoff. "This car has to be the best."

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

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