Volkswagen has unveiled yet another hybrid SUV concept at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, but this one could actually preview a vehicle that could soon be introduced into the VW lineup.
Called the Volkswagen T-Prime Concept GTE, the full-sized plug-in hybrid SUV has a theoretical electric driving range of 31 miles and a combined fuel economy rating of 87 mpg or 29 mpg in hybrid mode. VW says the all-wheel-drive SUV has a system output of 375 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, and can sprint to 60 mph in six seconds to a top speed of 139 mph.
The system is built around a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine, an electric motor and a battery that can be charged during the drive or by being plugged in. An eight-speed automatic will be used and the SUV will start on electricity alone. The car’s battery can be fully charged at a 220-volt outlet in eight hours, or a faster “supercharger-type” station in two and a half hours.
The SUV can be driven in three modes: E-Mode, which prioritizes fuel economy, Hybrid mode, or GTE mode, which is a sportier setup.
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Technology takes center stage in this concept, with a dashboard that’s dominated with a huge curved digital screen that will display all the car’s infotainment functions. A driver will control all of the car’s functions (except driving, of course) using gestures, voice control, touchscreens and other touch-sensitive surfaces, which will replace nearly all physical buttons. A digital gauge cluster like Audi uses is also featured in this concept.
Volkswagen’s SUV Plans
A new Tiguan will be launched this spring and will be offered with an extended wheelbase in some markets, while a new mid-sized SUV will slot in between the Tiguan and larger Touareg. A full-sized SUV inspired by this T-Prime Concept GTE, a smaller Golf-based compact CUV inspired by the T-Cross Concept, and an even smaller Polo-based CUV will also join the lineup in the near future.
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