The model is slated to go into production later this year.

Volkswagen has been late to embrace the crossover craze but that's slowly starting to change as the company has built the first test body for its midsize crossover in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Volkswagen says the move is a major milestone and an "early step" towards building the production model.  The first test body was made to check the calibration of the plant's body shop equipment and the body will now undergo further testing and development to ensure everything is ready for full production.

The company has been relatively tight-lipped about the crossover but the model was originally previewed by the CrossBlue concept and will compete with other seven-seat crossovers such as the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander.  The crossover's design remains a closely guarded secret but previous spy photos have shown the model will have a sculpted hood, muscular fender flares, and plastic body cladding.  

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 and a hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrain.

The crossover will go into production later this year and is scheduled to arrive in dealerships in 2017.

Source: Volkswagen

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