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VW Touareg Hybrid in the driving report

Hans-Dieter Seufert
VW Touareg Hybrid in the driving report
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VW Touareg - for everyone who knows and loves it, it is something like the Bentley of the mud. A statement that has become an automobile for the fact that Wolfsburg not only understands Volkswagen, but also cars for successful people. And how: The aura of power and money spills over the 500,000 V W Touareg drivers as soon as they open the doors. Grippy leather, shiny wooden panels, precisely placed metal inlays and chrome-adorned round instruments spread high-class charm - albeit at an additional cost. And first the automatic selector lever, which could just as easily command a two-by-twelve-cylinder powerboat.

The new VW Touareg weighs around 200 kilograms less

That should be over now, sacrificed on the altar of economy? Don't worry - the new VW Touareg is lighter and two centimeters lower, despite four centimeters plus in length and wheelbase, but still further away from the meager savings sandwich than Wolfsburg from Bratislava. The SUV is still being built there. Solid as before, albeit a little less pompous, it relies on a modern interior in the style of the current VW design language.

Technically, a lot has also happened. High-strength steels for the body, aluminum for the chassis and fine work on the electronics, drive train and insulation trained the VW Touareg around 200 kilograms. The steering wheel lost its control rollers, individual buttons gave way to control crosses, and the displays gained in size and clarity. The seven-inch screen between the round instruments provides just as high-resolution information as the eight-inch touchscreen in the center console.

The hybrid version has a 38 kW electric motor

With its help, operation is clearly structured despite the wide range of options. You can also sit more comfortably - this is ensured (optional) by new front seats with pneumatically adjustable side bolsters; The 16 centimeter shift mechanism for the rear seat is just as standard as the airy feeling of space and the neat overview.

The same applies to the eight-speed automatic, which also manages the power in the hybrid. The first standard in the group and a full hybrid, consisting of the one from Audi well-known, three-liter V6 petrol engine with supercharging and 333 hp and a 38 kW electric motor. In between is a disconnect clutch that enables different operating states - from purely electric driving (up to 50 km /h or two kilometers) to assisting the gasoline engine including full-load boosting to so-called sailing.

VW promises a standard consumption of 8.2 L /100 km

If you take off the gas at speeds of up to 160 km /h, the clutch engages Petrol engine so as not to waste kinetic energy in the engine resistors, the generator then only supplies the current consumers. When decelerating, it intervenes more - audibly and noticeably because of the synthetic, uneven pedal feel - and fills the nickel-metal hydride battery (288 V, 1.3 kWh) located under the trunk floor.

VW promises a standard consumption of 8.2 L /100 km, in practice it should look different, even if you do not enjoy the maximum trailer load of 3.5 tons. The powerful drive combination encourages you to throw good savings intentions overboard the 2.3-tonner. Especially since the precise electro-hydraulic steering, the smooth air suspension and the neutral handling further promote driving pleasure.

The Touareg is equipped with an off-road program as standard

And the party can even go on away from the asphalt. Equipped as standard with a Torsen transfer case including an off-road program (all models), the optional Terrain Tech package on the V6TDI increases off-road competence. The power then flows through a more robust differential including a reduction plus a center and rear axle differential that locks up to 100 percent. Five special programs help the Touareg climb 45-degree inclines even without a Dakar winner at the wheel.

In addition, there is the air suspension, which ensures comfort on-road, but also provides adventurous ground clearance off-road - after all, nobody wants to get stranded with their maxi SUV somewhere in nowhere. There, where neither the lane departure warning nor the lane change assistant are useful and both the adaptive xenon light, which cuts out oncoming traffic, and the radar lobe of the new, smoothly working adaptive cruise control system aim nowhere.

Less variety of engines for the VW Touareg

After all, like the other V6 variants, the hybrid turns itself off automatically with a start-stop system when the vehicle is stationary in order to save fuel. The Touareg will save not only on fuel consumption, but also on the variety of engines. Five- and ten-cylinder TDIs are disappearing, as is the W12. For the V8FSI, the hybrid is coming in Europe, the V8TDI kicks torque fans with 800 Newton meters. Around 80 percent of German buyers are likely to be strong,the economical V6 TDI. The same applies here: hard renunciation looks different.

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