Volkswagen may be getting burned at the stake these days because of its diesel cheating program, but at least it understands the global auto market and is designing new cars that people want most. A quick look at international sales figures shows that SUVs and crossovers represent the hottest market segments and that’s exactly the customers VW’s latest offerings cater to.
Take the T-Prime concept, for example. Unveiled at the Beijing auto show this week, it is an SUV that slots in above the Touareg in Volkswagen’s model lineup. Squint a little and the T-Prime bears more than a passing resemblance to Audi’s upcoming Q6 e-tron SUV.
Not only is the T-Prime stylish in a bulked up sort of way, it features a proper all wheel drive powertrain. Up front, a 2 liter turbocharged 4 cylinder engine is mated to an 8 speed transmission. An electric motor is integrated into the new transmission. Total output is given at 375 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. 0-60 takes 6 seconds and the car has a top speed of 139 miles per hour, according to the company. The T-Prime has an MPGe rating of 87 miles per gallon. Its 14.1 kWh battery has 31 miles of electric only range and can be fully recharged in 8 hours using a 220 volt Level 2 charger.
The interior of the new car thoroughly up to date. All the normal buttons and switches have been replaced with a 15″ touchscreen set just to the right of a 12″ digital instrument cluster. Operation is by touch, gesture, or voice command. The layout is said to offer a preview of systems that will go into production as early as next year. There are a pair of 10.1″ touchscreens for rear seat passengers as well as a 9.6″ display between the front seats that allows people in back to adjust the climate controls settings to their liking.
Volkswagen hints at a smaller crossover SUV that will slot in below the Tiguan. There is also a rumor of a stretched Tiguan coming with seating for 7. Clearly, Volkswagen intends to have a product to fit the needs of every SUV or crossover buyer.
Source: AutoBlog. Photo credits: Volkswagen