Car News

Volkswagen Debuts T-Prime Concept GTE

VW debuted the T-Prime Concept GTE toady at the Beijing Auto Show. It is a look at the future of Volkswagen's full size SUV. Boasting a plug-in hybrid drivetrain with up to 375 hp and a monstrous 516 lb-ft of torque, the T-Prime has 4MOTION all wheel drive and is capable of 50 km on electric power and 0-100 km/h in six seconds flat.

Inside is VW's new Curved Interaction Area, which is a dashboard, center stack and console that appear to be a series of screens (15.0-inch in the center stack, 9.6-inch on the console and 12.0-inch in the dash), merging into a new interactive interface. It also integrates gestures, voice control and touch sensitive surfaces in a way that VW claims is precise, intuitive, and fun to use. The pair of rear seats also has a 9.6-inch screen to let rear passengers alter the climate control and media systems.

Under hood is a 2.0L TFSI four that puts out 248 hp and 273 lb-ft. The Electric motor is integrated into the housing of the eight-speed automatic and develops 134 hp and 258 lb-ft. Fuel consumption is quoted at 2.7 L/100km, and the 50 km range is courtesy of a 14.1 KWh lithium-ion battery. The engine is decoupled from the rest of the system whenever your foot comes off the gas pedal, in order to improve economy. Not doing the mileage any favours though are the concept's 22-inch wheels and massive 285 section tires.

The T-Prime Concept GTE is based on the VW MLB platform, so it's likely a good look at the styling of the next Touareg. It has the C-look LED accent lights common to all of VW's GTE concepts, and a very large, very chrome corner to corner front grille.  VW Design Chief Klaus Bischoff says that the nose is "creating an entirely new, iconic SUV product sub-brand", which hints that this could be a separate vehicle beside the Touareg instead. Either way, it's good looking for a full size SUV, but the best angles may be from the rear.