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Explorer-fighting Volkswagen Teramont spied again

by Ronan Glon

The seven-seater will likely make its official debut in Los Angeles.

A second set of low-resolution amateur spy shots taken in China has given us a better look at Volkswagen's long-awaited three-row crossover.

Published by website Autohome, the images confirm that the yet-unnamed crossover borrows more than a handful of styling cues from the CrossBlue concept that debuted three years ago at the Detroit Auto Show. The concept's front end was very close to production and little has changed, but the back end features new tail lamps connected by a thick strip of chrome trim.

Inside, the soft-roader gets a three-spoke steering wheel, an analog instrument cluster, and Volkswagen's familiar touch screen-based infotainment system. The overall layout is again strongly inspired by the CrossBlue concept. High-spec models will get leather upholstery, and it's not too far-fetched to imagine Volkswagen's digital instrument cluster will be offered at an extra cost.

The model depicted in the spy shots is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter TSI four-cylinder engine, according to the emblem on the right side of the hatch. Buyers who want more power will be able to order a 280-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 that's also found under the hood of the Passat. Finally, we hear that a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain will be added to the lineup a little later in the production run.

A close look at the letters on the trim that connects the tail lamps all but confirms that the SUV will be dubbed Teramont, a name chosen by the company's North American division.

Regardless of nomenclature, we'll most likely see Volkswagen's upcoming three-row model in the metal for the first time during the Los Angeles Auto Show, and it will go on sale shortly after as a 2017 model. When it lands, it will fight in the same segment as the Honda Pilot, the Toyota Highlander, and the Ford Explorer, among others.

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