VW Touareg Supercharged V6 Hybrid 374HP with 26mpg - Production Starts in 2010

Volkswagen has published the first photos and details of the Touareg Hybrid prototype that previews a production version that will be unveiled in 2010. Unlike the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid that featured a normally aspirated 3.6-liter V6 FSI, the Touareg V6 TSI Hybrid makes use of VW's new supercharged 3.0-liter V6 TSI petrol unit that produces 333HP and is combined with a 38 kW / 52HP electric motor that is installed between the V6 TSI and a newly developed 8-speed automatic transmission.

The electric motor is powered by nickel metal-hydride battery that is charged through regenerative braking and is located under the luggage compartment. The vehicle can operate on the electric motor alone at speeds of up to 50 km/h (31 mph). In this case the V6 TSI is turned off, and it is disconnected from the transmission by a disengagement clutch allowing the Touareg V6 TSI Hybrid to operate with zero emissions.

When the driver requires maximum torque and power, the V6 TSI engine and the electric motor operate together (by kickdown or gearshift selector in "S" position) for a combined output of 374HP and a maximum torque of 550 Nm. In this case, the Touareg V6 TSI Hybrid prototype accelerates to 100 km/h in just 6.8 seconds. In terms of towing capacity, the hybrid version of the Touareg can haul up to 3.5 metric tons or 7,000 pounds.

Volkswagen states that the hybrid system of the Touareg was not designed to deliver pure sports car performance but to offer low emissions and fuel consumption values. According to the firm's preliminary figures, the Touareg Hybrid achieves an average fuel consumption of less than 9.0 lt / 100 km (+26.1 mpg US) with CO2 emissions less than 210 g/km.

The German carmaker claims that compared to a conventional SUV of the same size, the hybrid concept yields fuel savings of more than 25 percent in city driving and 17 percent in combined city, highway and freeway driving.