Our man in the US has bagged some shots of the new Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid on test, ahead of an expected launch next year. It’ll be VW’s first hybrid petrol-electric car on sale in the UK.
The stickers on the door hint at the hybrid powertrain beneath the 4x4’s lightly revised bodyshell. VW has developed the petrol-electric tech in conjunction with Porsche, and it’ll appear in the Cayenne Hybrid, Porsche Panamera and Audi Q7. We’ve already tested the Cayenne S Hybrid in prototype form.
What’s under the bonnet of the 2010 VW Touareg Hybrid?
That’ll be the new Audi S4’s V6. It’s a 3.0-litre engine, likely to crank out 328bhp and 324lb ft of torque on its own; an electric motor sits between the V6 and eight-speed Aisin auto gearbox, powered by nickel metal-hydride batteries.
Stamp on the throttle of the Touareg Hybrid prototype we recently drove, and you’ll unleash a fulsome 369bhp and 405lb ft. It’s enough for some very un-ecological sounding acceleration figures – 60mph is dispatched in less than 6.8 seconds and top speed is pegged to 148mph.
VW engineers have told us that CO2 will dip ‘under 210g/km’ while fuel consumption is likely to be better than 31mpg. Not bad for a 2.4-tonne SUV, though hardly likely to be on Ken Livingstone’s Christmas card list.
When is the new VW Touareg being launched?
Word is the new second-generation Touareg, codenamed VW726, will be out in summer 2010. It’s a rebodied version of the existing car, as all the partner manufacturers are spinning off two families of car from the four-wheel drive architecture.
It’ll be slightly longer than today’s car, we hear, to distance it from the compact Tiguan. But new technologies are set to shave some weight off the tubby SUV’s kerbweight; some early estimates claim it’ll be 150kg lighter than today’s car.