New Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid was picked as All wheel drive ‘Car of the Year’ 2012 in the All wheel drive hybrid car category voted by over 120,000 readers of Auto Bild Allrad to decide on which was the favourite all wheel drive vehicle for this year. In India, 2012 Volkswagen Touareg is expected to launch in August this year.
The Touareg Hybrid is Volkswagen’s first production gas-electric hybrid SUV model. It complements the Touareg SUV line that includes a choice of a traditional gas V-6 or a turbocharged diesel V-6.
The 2012 Touareg Hybrid combines a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 with an electric motor. Essentially, the 2012 Touareg Hybrid shares the same basic platform and battery technology as the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid and Audi Q7 Hybrid.
The Touareg Hybrid uses an 8-speed automatic transmission. This transfers power through VW’s 4MOTION all-wheel drive system. Car and Driver says this makes the Touareg: Powerful, without any hybrid weirdness.
The combination of the V-6 and electric motor delivers 380 hp and has a fuel economy rating of 20 mpg city, 24 mpg highway. The electric motor alone is capable of power the car at speeds up to 31 mph. Towing capacity for the Touareg Hybrid is 7,700 pounds. This is much greater than its competitors, the hybrid Lexus RX 450h or Mercedes-Benz ML450 Hybrid.
The 2012 Touareg Hybrid seats five (there is no third row of seats as is the case in some other SUV models). Marketed as a luxury SUV, the Touareg Hybrid includes many high-end features as standard equipment. Drivers and passengers should enjoy the power memory front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, and touch-screen navigation system. Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, front fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, stability control, six airbags, and tire pressure monitoring.
One problem with many hybrid vehicles is that the batteries take up valuable passenger or cargo space. Volkswagen took an innovative approach to eliminate this problem. The hybrid batteries are housed under the cargo area floor. That space would normally hold a spare tire. The Touareg Hybrid skips the spare and instead comes with run-flat tires. So no cargo room is lost to the batteries.
Online driver ratings and auto industry magazine reviews rate the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid as being high-quality and fuel-efficient. Some reviewers also say it’s one of the best-driving hybrid SUVs on the market.
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