By on April 25, 2016


Volkswagen unveiled a full-size SUV concept vehicle in Beijing that looks awfully production ready.

The T-Prime Concept GTE introduced at that city’s annual motor show previews the design direction of Volkswagen’s future SUV, revealing an emphasis on elegance and sportiness.

Last week, Volkswagen teased a photo of the concept alongside a list of specifications, leading us to speculate that the vehicle could become a future Touareg. Now, the automaker claims it will offer a vehicle similar to the concept as a new entry in an expanded SUV lineup.

Powering the T-Prime is a plug-in hybrid drivetrain making a combined 375 horsepower and 516 pounds-feet of torque, coupled to the company’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system. Volkswagen says the concept’s electric range is 31 miles, netting it a combined fuel economy figure of 87 miles per gallon.

A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder will be the gas powerplant, rated at 248 hp and 273 lb-ft, with an electric motor adding 134 hp and 248 lb-ft to the mix. That power flows through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Volkswagen t-prime concept_gte_

The T-Prime motivates itself to 60 miles per hour in six seconds, and tops out at 139 miles per hour.

Inside the vehicle, Volkswagen premiered its naughty-sounding Curved Interaction Area, a digital display and control concept.

Volkswagen knows that crossovers and SUVs are as lucrative as Apple stocks in the ’80s, so plans are afoot to offer a model in every segment. The wildly expensive fallout of the diesel emissions scandal has greatly increased the need for more revenue-generating models in the company’s lineup.

“The product campaign starts this Spring with the global market launch of the new Tiguan, which will also be offered with an extended wheelbase in certain markets,” the automaker stated in a media release.

“Following in car classes above it are a new mid-size SUV (for the USA and China), the successful Touareg and a vehicle in the style of the T-Prime Concept GTE. Beneath the Tiguan, two new SUV model series will make their debut simultaneously: in the Golf class, there will be an SUV inspired by the T-Roc concept, and the T-Cross Breeze that was presented in Geneva shows the direction that will be taken in the Polo class (SUV).”

The company that built its reputation on small cars is pinning its future on anything but.

[Images: Volkswagen of America]

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11 Comments on “Volkswagen’s SUV Concept is Ready for T-Prime Time...”

  • avatar

    Interesting. This still doesn’t clear up whether or not we are getting the SWB or LWB Tiguan though. I want whatever CUV VW has coming that is the same size as the Q5.

    How many billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of sales units did VW miss out on by waiting so long to enter these segments?

  • avatar

    Please, everybody say hello to the new Touareg.

    Please note the upper control arms in the front suspension and longitudinal engine placement. This is the VW that shares the new Q7 platform.

  • avatar

    This makes me suspect the new vehicle is just the next Touareg equipped with the green drivetrain that addresses VW’s PR problem.

    • 0 avatar

      I expect a 2.0T + what they like to call the eMotor (basically a motor where the torque converter goes that can act as a generator or a motor). No idea if it will be a B-cycle engine + hybrid but I’d be shocked if they used a TDI.

  • avatar

    3rd row finally? If not then American yawns and VW Dealers groan.

  • avatar

    This thing has the most ornate grille on an SUV since the last-generation Lincoln Navigator.

    • 0 avatar

      Indeed, looks like VW’s new design language will feature a toothier grin. A good way to differentiate them from Audi, but not what we have come to expect from VW.

  • avatar

    You never know when or where inspiration will strike.

    That grille happened because some VW designer had a eureka moment while loading a dishwasher.

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