Volkswagen introduced the CrossBlue concept nearly three years ago and the model finally inching closer to production as spy photographers have snapped a prototype undergoing testing in California.

Set to battle the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander, the production model follows in the footsteps of the concept as it features a sculpted hood, muscular fender flares, and plastic body cladding.  However, it is important to note the prototype has been equipped with a fake front and rear fascia in an attempt to hide its Volkswagen origins.  The model also has phony badging but this isn't terribly surprising as the company has previous disguised other models in a similar fashion.

Little else is known about the CrossBlue but it is expected to ride on the MQB platform and feature a Golf-inspired interior.  The crossover is also slated to offer seating for at least seven people.

Engine options remain unconfirmed but the crossover is expected to be powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces approximately 280 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.  The model could also be offered with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine but it appears a diesel engine is off the table following the widely publicized Dieselgate scandal.  Instead, the company could offer a hybrid or plug-in hybrid variant.

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