Is Volkswagen's Beijing Concept a Touareg Preview?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
is volkswagen s beijing concept a touareg preview

Volkswagen has teased a plug-in hybrid SUV concept bound for the Beijing Motor Show later this month, but the powertrain numbers are reminiscent of a model recently axed.

From the images provided, the Beijing Concept SUV has flanks far more sculpted than we’re used to seeing from Volkswagen, but it’s in keeping with the brand’s new design language. It’s a large SUV that looks to be of the two-row variety, a niche currently filled by the venerable Touareg.

The vehicle’s dimensions aren’t stated, but Volkswagen says the concept’s plug-in powertrain makes a total of 376 horsepower and 516 pounds-feet of torque. In fully-electric mode, the vehicle can travel up to 31 miles without burning a drop of gas, while delivering a combined 78 miles per gallon on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). The automaker claims a 0-62 mile per hour time of six seconds.

Volkswagen says the concept previews the latest in digitalization, as well as showing off the brand’s efforts in elevating sportiness and elegance in SUV design.

For the 2016 model year, Volkswagen killed the hybrid version of the Touareg, which made 380 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque, and hit 62 mph in 5.8 seconds. Mileage wasn’t outstanding, and the added technology hugely inflated the price.

Knowing this, the numbers given for the Beijing Concept seem familiar, minus the battery-only range and mileage. Volkswagen has been looking to boost its green bona fides (and sales) ever since the diesel emissions scandal broke, and crossovers and SUVs are seen as the biggest money makers for this or any company.

A model with numbers like the Beijing Concept could challenge green SUVs like the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and possibly the more upmarket Volvo XC90. Volkswagen already has a three-row SUV nearing production, while the Touareg received a mild refresh this year after the current generation bowed for 2011.

Whether the Touareg is replaced by a new model in the near future or adopts the styling cues and powertrain of the concept remains to be seen, but it’s clear the company wants (and needs) to add some vigor to its utility offerings.

[Images: Volkswagen of America]

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  • Pdl2dmtl Pdl2dmtl on Apr 18, 2016

    German electronics..... hmmmm..... let me think for a second. No. There's a reason there are no more german electronics manufacturers. Because they stink. Last company that was making something even remotely worthwhile was Blaupunkt. Are they still around? How about Grundig....errr... Eton. So no. I would not trust a gas powered car let alone hybrid coming from Vaterland. I've been burned. My 2 cents.

  • Hummer Hummer on Apr 18, 2016

    " It’s a large SUV that looks to be of the two-row variety, a niche currently filled by the venerable Touareg." Touareg is neither large nor SUV. Seems like VW is on a race to the bottom, the largest portions of buyers they have in America are the sorority girls and the euro teens that think a 4 cylinder cabrio lowered with massive camber is in some way "cool". So they are now planning to spend less money on the cache of buyers they still attract and more money on a highly over saturated hybrid market. Sounds genius.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂