Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid

From Volkswagen press: As Volkswagen’s first production hybrid electric vehicle, the all-new Touareg 3.0-liter supercharged, direct injection V6 gasoline engine is paired with a special electric motor that significantly reduces fuel consumption and emissions compared to the previous V8 FSI model.

The electric motor is paired with a nickel metal-hydride battery pack fitted beneath the luggage compartment. The 288 volt battery consists of 240 individual cells and offers an energy density of 1.7 kWh. Both systems are capable of running independently or together and when combined, produce a total of 380 horsepower and 428 lbs.-ft. of torque.

The new supercharged hybrid allows Touareg to offer customers V8 power with better fuel efficiency than a V6 engine. The eight-speed automatic transmission ensures power is always available, while helping the Touareg Hybrid achieve an EPA estimated 25 mpg during highway driving. When the driver releases the gas pedal, the engine will shut off while a special clutch disengages the transmission from the engine, allowing it to “coast” forward emission free without electric or combustion power to further aid in fuel savings.

Regenerative breaking also allows the electric motor to recover kinetic energy during coasting and braking to help recharge the nickel metal-hydride battery pack. Touareg Hybrid can drive up to 30 mph on pure electric power.

Another first for the Touareg hybrid is the standard Start-Stop system, which automatically stops the engine during idling, for example while waiting at a red light. In this system, the brake is the control mechanism and when activated, stops the engine. When the brake is released, the engine starts again. This function improves fuel economy and reduces emissions, especially during city driving conditions.

The exterior changes to the 2011 Touareg reflect the refinements under the hood. Compared to its predecessor, the 2011 Touareg is wider and has a shorter overall height for a stronger presence. A longer wheelbase and greater length provide more room inside the cabin, while the use of new materials and other adjustments have removed approximately 350 pounds from the vehicle.

At the front is a narrower grille opening that seamlessly connects to the trapezoidal headlight housings that carry U-shaped LED running lights and Bi-XenonTM High Intensity Gas-Discharged headlamps. The housings flow into the new fender flares, and a pair of compact fog lamps at the lower portion of the front fascia stand underneath the Touareg’s front air intakes.

The hood features a raised portion that runs from the grille back, finishing at the side mirrors and giving a more muscular appearance. A chrome accent strip carries from behind the front wheels, and runs along the bottom of the doors to complement the chrome touches bordering the windows.

The back of the Touareg is defined with pronounced curves around the hatch area, new “L- Design” taillights, and a blacked out lower bumper with a set of shaped, chrome exhaust tips.

Another new design feature in the second generation Touareg is the automatically opening and closing tailgate that can be operated from inside the vehicle, at the tailgate itself or through a remote control on the fully redesigned key fob.

The Touareg will be available in nine different colors including five new colors: Cool Silver Metallic, Flint Gray Metallic, Toffee Brown Metallic, Night Blue Metallic and Tungsten Silver Metallic (Hybrid only).

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