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Review: Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid

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check this out!!! wonder if they have a diesel hybrid version. should be lagi fuel efficient. but again, who would buy a touareg and bother about fuel? [grin] VW should start releasing their amarock pigkarp which features their signature diesel turbo engine [sly]






By Samuel Ee


BY NOW, almost everyone should be familiar with Volkswagen's strategy of engine downsizing, where the use of turbocharging beefs up the performance of a petrol engine with a relatively small displacement while still retaining excellent fuel economy. One example is the Golf hatchback.


But with its big Touareg SUV, VW has gone about a different way to achieve this strategy - hybrid power. The Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid has a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain and it replaces the previous V8 petrol model as the top-of-the-line Touareg.


With hybrid drive, there is no performance deficit - the supercharged 3.0-litre petrol engine works with an electric motor to produce the power of an eight-cylinder engine while providing the fuel economy of a six- or four- cylinder unit. At the same time, VW says that compared with a conventional SUV of the same size and power, its hybrid concept saves an average of 17 per cent in fuel under the combined cycle.



On its own, the Touareg Hybrid's V6 engine churns out 333hp in power and 440Nm of torque. Combined with the E-motor electric motor's 46hp, the total system output is 380hp and total maximum torque surges to 580Nm.


On the road, this translates to effortless acceleration. The big Hybrid literally zips along when the accelerator pedal is floored. And the progress is silky smooth with the new eight-speed automatic transmission. The performance advantage is clear despite the Touareg Hybrid weighing in at 2,240kg, or 205kg heavier than the 3.6-litre V6 petrol version.


Yet, the fuel consumption is also good. The SUV employs a parallel hybrid drive configuration, which essentially means the Touareg can be powered by either engine or motor alone if required, and hence is more efficient for expressway driving. And in purely electric mode, it can be driven up to 50 kmh for about 2km.


Another fuel-saving feature is its ability to coast. When the accelerator pedal is released, the engine is disengaged from the transmission. This eliminates drag torque losses and boosts fuel economy significantly. Also helpful is that the eight-speeder's top two ratios are both overdrive gears.


But other than its green edge, it is difficult to understand why anyone would plumb for a Touareg Hybrid over either the less expensive V6 petrol version or even the V6 diesel. Unlike other hybrid SUVs on the market, it is not particularly silent. In fact, the Touareg Hybrid emits more noise under heavy acceleration.


Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid

Price: $277,300 (with COE)

Engine: 2,995cc V6 supercharged

Transmission: Eight-speed automatic Max Power: 333bhp @ 5,500rpm (380bhp with electric motor)

Max Torque: 440Nm @ 3,000-5,250rpm(580Nm @ 3,000-5,250rpm with electric motor)

0-100kmh: 6.5sec

Top speed: 240kmh

Distributor: Volkswagen Group Singapore

Website: www.volkswagen.com.sg


Also, its handling isn't sporty enough to exploit the good low-end torque available. The optional $7,500 air suspension provides three modes of damping - comfort, normal or sport. But even with sport mode to enhance roadholding, the Touareg is let down by its vague steering.


But like every other new Touareg, the Hybrid has its virtues. Its height offers a commanding driving position in a spacious cabin with a huge boot. And with the air suspension option, the loading of cargo can be made more convenient by lowering the tailgate using the controls near the boot opening.


The high-riding Touareg is also a genuine SUV with 4Motion four-wheel-drive as standard for light off-roading, meaning it is more than capable of traversing either jungle plantations or the occasional flood-hit road in Singapore. In either situation, sporty handling isn't going to be the top priority for the Touareg driver.



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liked the new touch screen ~9 inch HU, should be replacing RN510 in rest of fleet soon.

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price is too high. drive a corolla over 10yrs still way cheaper than this

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price is too high. drive a corolla over 10yrs still way cheaper than this


totally different segment

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