The second-generation Volkswagen Touareg SUV is news in and of itself, but the biggest story is the new hybrid model that bowed today in Geneva. How does more than 400 pounds of weight savings and 29 mpg combined grab you?
It’s an impressive feat alright. Volkswagen says that despite the fact that they increased structural rigidity by 45 percent and added a hybrid drivetrain, the new Touareg is 441 pounds lighter than the outgoing model, dropping it to just under 5000 pounds. Those savings are significant, as Volkswagen says they help make the new Touareg 25 percent more efficient than the outgoing model.
The Touareg Hybrid is powered by a 3.3-liter, twin-supercharged V-6 mated to an electric motor, the same setup that you’ll find in the new Porsche Cayenne Hybrid. Together, they can put out 374 peak horsepower and 428 peak pound-feet of torque. Be gentle to the throttle and they’ll return 29 mpg combined, considerably more than the current gas powered models that can do an EPA-estimated 25 mpg highway at best. More than that, the electric motor can also move the Touareg Hybrid by itself up to 31 mph.
The new Touareg is expected to debut later this year in both Europe and the U.S. The Touareg Hybrid will join its gas powered siblings here in the U.S., but diesel models are expected to remain in Europe.