By on April 18, 2016

Volkswagen Beijing Concept

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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4 Comments on “Is Volkswagen’s Beijing Concept a Touareg Preview?...”

  • avatar

    “plug-in hybrid”


    I saw this coming: it’s the only thing that’s gonna #makeVWGreatAgain.

  • avatar

    Sounds like the Audi Q7 e-tron in Touareg dressings.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    ” 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.

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