*NOW UPDATED WITH VIDEO* Is the new T-Prime Concept GTE plug-in hybrid the best sign yet that Volkswagen will soon replace the Touareg?[Not a valid template]
Volkswagen has revealed the new T-Prime Concept GTE at the Beijing Motor Show, our closest look yet at – presumably – the new Touareg.
Though strictly a concept at present, the T-Prime demonstrates not only an updated plug-in hybrid system and a more digitally focused infotainment driver assistance setup (which we’ll come back to) but also how VW’s prominent SUV may appear when the next generation arrives. Sand is dribbling through the hour glass for the Touareg after all, the current generation having first appeared in 2011 with only a mild facelift in 2014 between then and now.
Larger, wider and sitting lower than the Touareg, the T-Prime boasts a more aggressive look in-keeping with both the newly relaunched Passat and Tiguan, details and driving impressions of which we’ll be bringing you very soon. Though exterior design tweaks like the more menacing front grille and whopping great alloys are worth noting (and which seem heavily inspired by the T-Cross Breeze concept), greater attention has been paid on the inside. In the back for instance, two individual seats replace the three-passenger bench (expect that to change should a production model appear), while in the front, a new ‘Curved Interaction Area’ takes inspiration from sister company Audi’s ‘Virtual Cockpit’ as seen on the new TT and new A4, with which, incidentally, the T-Prime shares an MLB chassis. So enthusiastic is VW about its new 15in curved touchscreen and its interactive capabilities, the company has even claimed ‘not a single button’ can be found in the cabin. The march towards autonomous driving continues.
Propulsion meanwhile is orchestrated by essentially the same plug-in hybrid found in the Golf GTE, albeit with a 2-litre TSI turbocharged four-cylinder replacing the 1.4-litre model. Said unit produces 248bhp and 516lb ft of torque and is mated with a 280kW/134bhp electric motors. Combined, the system produces an impressive 375bhp, which is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed transmission, and allows the T-Prime to hit 0-100kph in six seconds flat and a 224kph top speed. Relying solely on the 280kW electric motor, the concept still enables a 50km electric driving zero-emissions range.
But obviously, none of the above can be processed fully without the help of a group of dancers clad with varyingly coloured face paint. Cue the launch video…
Source – Volkswagen