Feb 12 2010 Maurice Glover
Hybrid power for new Touareg
IT zips from rest to 62mph in 6.5 seconds and zooms on to reach a top speed of 149mph.
But the blistering performance doesn't come from a hot hatchback - it's under the bonnet of the latest chunky sport utility model from Volkswagen.
Thanks to a blend of power from a supercharged V6 petrol engine and an electric motor, the Touareg Hybrid boasts a combined output of 380PS and a massive 428lb.ft. of torque to put it in pole position at the traffic light grand prix.
Yet the combination means it is also able to stretch more than 34 miles from a gallon with exhaust emissions of only 193g/km.
As well as boosting the 3.3-litre engine, the 47PS electric motor can drive the car up to 30mph in zero emission mode to give the full-size German model five-star environmental credentials.
The Hybrid joins three-litre V6 and 4.2-litre V8 diesel engines on offer in a new Touareg line-up set to make Volkswagen more competitive with premium rivals in the 4x4 sector.
They come with eight-speed transmission, stop-start technology, touch-screen navigation and leather upholstery in sharper-styled bodywork that's longer and lower and has a new sliding rear seat assembly to further increase legroom in the rear.
And a choice of options will include high beam assist that automatically dips the headlights when it senses oncoming traffic, side assist to warn of vehicles occupying blind spots, adaptive roll compensation air suspension and air conditioned, massaging seats when the range becomes available in August.
In addition to the SE, Altitude and Hybrid, another version called Escape will feature reduction gearing, centre and rear differentials that can each be fully locked for off-road applications and five stage control for the four wheel drive system.
Prices will be announced nearer the on-sale date.