A new hybrid is appearing on the scene, and it’s not from Toyota, Lexus or Honda – it’s a Volkswagen Touareg 4×4.
The all-new Touareg is up to 200 kg lighter and up to 20 per cent more fuel efficient than the model it replaces.
However its purpose is more about performance than all-out fuel economy, as the hybrid version still only manages 34.4 mpg on the combined cycle.
The 3.0-litre V6 TDI is actually more economical with 38.1mpg, although the emissions are slightly worse than the hybrid’s 193 g/km CO2 at 195 g/km.
The new Touareg Hybrid brings together a 3.3-litre supercharged V6 petrol engine producing 333 PS and 265 lbs ft of torque and an electric motor generating 47 PS, resulting in a total output of 380 PS and 428 lbs ft of torque. The electric motor can operate independently of the combustion engine making the new Touareg a full hybrid.
On electric power alone the new Touareg is capable of travelling at speeds of up to 30 mph. Alternatively the electric motor can supplement the V6 engine to provide a useful boost during overtaking manoeuvres and allows the Touareg Hybrid to accelerate from rest to 62 mph in 6.5 seconds before reaching a top speed of 149 mph.
The entry-level engine and the likely volume seller is a 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine generating 240 PS and 405 lbs ft of torque while returning 38.1 mpg and emitting 195 g/km of CO2 to place it in VED band J.
A new 4.2-litre TDI V8 engine producing 340 PS and 590 lbs ft of torque sits at the top of the new Touareg range. This returns 31 mpg on the combined cycle and emits 239 g/km of CO2.
Standard examples of the new Touareg will have an eight-speed transmission as well as Start/Stop technology on the majority of models.
Touchscreen satellite navigation and leather upholstery is also standard on most models, and a choice of options include High Beam Assist that automatically dips the headlights when it senses oncoming traffic, Side Assist to warn of vehicles occupying blind spots, adaptive roll compensation air suspension and air conditioned, massaging seats.
The new Touareg range will have four versions in the UK: SE, Altitude, Hybrid and Escape.
The Escape model, available with the V6 TDI engine, features a system called 4XMOTION which comprises reduction gearing, centre and rear differentials that can each be fully locked for off-road applications and five stage control for the four wheel drive system. The first stage is for on-road applications, the second is for off-road use and activates automatic control for the mechanical differential locks, stage three engages the low-range gearbox with revised mapping of the gearbox to raise the shift points and switches off the automatic upshift in manual mode. Stage four applies the centre differential lock, stage five adds the rear differential lock.
Production of the new Touareg for the UK market starts in June before first deliveries commence in August. Prices and specifications will be announced nearer the time.
Keywords: Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid, 193 g/km CO2, 34.4 mpg, 3.3-litre supercharged V6 petrol engine, 380 PS, 4XMOTION.