Volkswagen is electrifying its model range in a product offensive spanning all product lines. The latest example is the brand’s flagship model – the Touareg. This will now be available in two power classes with a new V6 plug-in hybrid drive: as a Touareg eHybrid and an exclusive Touareg R. The luxury-class SUV range with electric motor and petrol engine starts with the new Touareg eHybrid with a system power of 280 kW (381 PS). The hybrid version is designed for a high level of travel comfort and can be configured in the two equipment lines Atmosphere and Elegance. In contrast, the new Touareg R has a distinctly sporty setup and equipment. With a system power of 340 kW (462 PS), it is the most powerful model of both the product line and the brand. Both the Touareg eHybrid and Touareg R have a high level of efficiency combined with outstanding all-round characteristics and extensively enhanced standard equipment. This includes a 4-zone automatic air conditioner, the Innovision Cockpit (with digital instruments and the top-of-the-range Discover Premium navigation system), a panoramic sliding/tilting sunroof and – in the case of the Touareg R – IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights.
Zero emissions on short journeys. The two new all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid models both permit a high electric WLTP range of around 47 kilometres and low average consumption. Both can be attributed to the perfect interplay between the electric motor and the V6 turbocharged petrol engine. The plug-in hybrid models are ideal for the typical usage patterns of car drivers. In Germany, for example, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) found that 99 percent of all trips in the most populous country of Europe are shorter than 100 kilometres. For these distances, the plug-in hybrid drive with a charged battery (energy content: 14.3 kWh net, 17.9 kWh gross) stands out with particularly low fuel and energy consumption. In this context, a large-scale study carried out in the US and Germany by the renowned Frauenhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) together with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) showed that drivers of plug-in hybrid models charge the batteries as often as drivers of electric cars.
Efficiency on long journeys. The plug-in hybrid drives of both Touareg models also show off their great potential over long distances because the battery is permanently recharged a little while driving via brake energy recuperation – in other words by recovering energy while braking. This energy is sufficient for the Touareg eHybrid and Touareg R to repeatedly completely switch off the V6 engine when decelerating and on downhill stretches, thereby coasting with zero local emissions. The interplay of electric drive motor and six-cylinder engine is perfected with the predictive hybrid strategy of both models. This predictive hybrid strategy is possible when route guidance is active in the navigation system. Both Touareg models use GPS and map data in order to also realise economical consumption values on medium and long distances. For this purpose, the system integrates the topography, routed data and destination region in route calculation. The Touareg eHybrid and Touareg R thus realise combined ranges of up to 810 kilometres.
3.5 tonnes maximum trailer weight. In spite of their outstanding efficiency, the new plug-in hybrid models are still specialists for demanding tasks – like all Touareg models. Both the Touareg eHybrid and Touareg R are designed for a maximum trailer weight of 3.5 tonnes, which is exceptionally high for hybrid models (this is also possible for all-electric driving). With this versatility– covering the spectrum from true off-road vehicle through to luxury-class touring car that can be used temporarily as a zero emission vehicle – the Touareg plug-in hybrid models have a special place among large SUVs. Both new models comply with the Euro 6d-TEMP-EVAP-ISC emission standard.
Assisted driving. The Touareg is one of the most modern SUVs in the world. With Travel Assist, for example, it is the very first Volkswagen that is capable of assisted driving up to a speed 250 km/h within the system limits. The SUV takes over both longitudinal and lateral guidance here. The Touareg does not just react to vehicles driving ahead, but also to speed restrictions and the course of the road (bends, roundabouts, junctions, etc). In addition, the Touareg is also the first Volkswagen that can be autonomously driven in and out of a parking space with the new Park Assist with remote control using a smartphone app. This is particularly appealing for the new Touareg eHybrid and Touareg R because the Park Assist with remote control works not only with the V6 petrol engine, but also in the all-electric E-MODE. The same applies to the familiar Trailer Assist function, which makes reversing with a trailer significantly easier.
Authentic, everyday usability. The new Touareg hybrid models are based on the third generation of the product line launched in 2018, which in turn was an evolution of the model first introduced in 2002. All current Touareg models feature a dynamic and elegant design, maximum safety and long-distance comfort, state-of-the-art connectivity and a largely digitalised cockpit. Furthermore, the overall concept is consistently designed for a high level of everyday usability and all-round characteristics such as a high maximum trailer weight. The reason for this is that, some 60 percent of all Touareg owners in Germany and 40 percent in Europe also use their SUV as a towing vehicle. Against this background, as described above, Volkswagen has attached particular importance to keeping the Touareg’s approval as an off-road vehicle also for the plug-in hybrid drive versions, so that it can tow the above-mentioned 3.5 tonnes maximum trailer weight – unlike the majority of comparable SUVs. Both models will be available to order from the start of October.
Progressive mobility strategy The new Touareg plug-in hybrid models from Volkswagen represent the next milestones of a long-term powertrain strategy. As one of the first manufacturers, Volkswagen is pursuing the path of a dual product range with two equivalent vehicle lines. First, there are the familiar product lines with combustion engines – from the small up! to the large Touareg – which are being continuously enhanced. Here, Volkswagen is electrifying an increasing number of models with highly efficient hybrid drives of various types. In Europe, these Volkswagen models (with the exception of the independent up!) are based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB / Polo to Arteon) and the modular longitudinal matrix (MLB / Touareg). Second, in a parallel process, a new range of all-electric vehicles based on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB / ID. family) is being launched. All the model series together– up!, MQB, MLB and MEB – form the new Volkswagen product range. In the future, it will cover all application scenarios and drive concepts in order to be able to offer every customer their optimal form of automobility.
Volkswagen hybrid offensive. The hybrid models play a key role in the electrification of Volkswagen’s product portfolio as they reduce emissions everywhere and immediately. All hybrid models have in common the fact that electric energy is used to reduce consumption and emissions and to increase the combined range. By the end of the year, Volkswagen will have a total of 15 hybrid models at its dealerships on the European market alone. On board: either a 48 V mild hybrid or a plug-in hybrid drive. Three Golf eTSI (48 V mild hybrid) and the plug-in hybrid models, Golf eHybrid, Golf GTE, Passat GTE and Passat GTE Variant, are already on the market. Still to be launched in 2020 are also three Golf Variant eTSI (48 V mild hybrid) models and – each with a plug-in hybrid drive – the Tiguan eHybrid, the Arteon eHybrid and the Arteon Shooting Brake eHybrid, as well as the new Touareg eHybrid and the Touareg R. All these models will enter a booming market: at the beginning of September, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) reported an increase of 133.9 percent in new hybrid vehicle registrations for the second quarter of 2020 compared with 2019. The fact is that the current hybrid models such as the new Touareg eHybrid and the Touareg R change the way in which we drive. They awaken a desire for sustainable cruising and are also fun to drive with their electric boost function. They are economical all-rounders that make long combined ranges possible, become an electric car temporarily and contribute to reducing CO2 emissions.