By September 27, 2011 Read More →

2012 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid

Volkswagen’s first production hybrid electric vehicle, the Touareg Hybrid pairs a 3.0-liter 333 horsepower supercharged, direct-injection V6 gasoline engine with and a 47-horsepower electric motor. The electric motor gets its energy from a nickel metal-hydride battery pack fitted beneath the luggage compartment. The 288-volt pack consists of 240 individual cells and offers an energy density of 1.7kWh. Both systems are capable of running independently, or together. When combined they produce a total of 380 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque, thus offering drivers the power of a V8 with the better fuel economy than a V6.

One of the real benefits of the hybrid powertrain is its astonishing off-the-line acceleration when gasoline and electric power combine to deliver that 428 lb-ft of torque. If hard acceleration isn’t called for, the Touareg Hybrid can cruise up to 30 mph on pure, zero-emission electric power. The Touareg Hybrid also uses a host of innovative new technologies to help it achieve its EPA-estimated 24 mpg during highway driving. For example, when the driver releases the gas pedal at cruising speeds, the engine will shut off and a special clutch disengages the transmission from the engine, allowing the car to ‘coast’ along emission-free.

Regenerative braking also allows the electric motor to recover kinetic energy during coasting and braking, to help recharge the battery pack. And, in another first for the Touareg Hybrid, there’s a standard Stop-Start system, which automatically stops the engine during idling while, for instance, waiting at a red light. When the brake is released, the engine re-starts.