Volkswagen Premieres the Hybrid SUV of the Future!
Volkswagen T-Prime Concept GTE is the strongly teased and highly anticipated vehicle, which has just made its Beijing debut today. If you remember well the last information revealed, this concept previews the future of Volkswagen's sport utility vehicles. Powered by a plug in powertrain that drives all four wheels, this SUV is a step forward in brand's more eco-minded future.
In addition, VW is also debuting here the new Curved Interaction Area: this is an entirely new digital display and control concept, which merges the innovative curved infotainment display with the interactive displays and controls. As a result, there is a brand new human-machine interface (HMI).
Comfortable, spacious, with excellent traction of an off-road vehicle and the agility of a sport sedan, T-Prime Concept GTE simply combines everything that one might need in a vehicle. Here are the details.
Starting-off with the exterior, here are some exiting facts about this concept. First, the design is an example of the Volkswagen SUV of the modern days. For instance, there is the chrome radiator grille that extends across the entire width of the front end and integrates the LED headlights. Besides the impressive front of the vehicle, another identifying feature is the opposing window and character lines, where the window line begins in the hood and ends in the side window of the D-pillar at the rear. On the other hand, the character line, begins in the rear lights, slices through the rear wheel arches with a razor-sharp undercut and ends in the front wing.
Volkswagen has revealed that the T-Prime Concept GTE has been based on the modular longitudinal platform (MLB); meaning that it is 199.6 inches long, 78.7 inches wide and 67.2 inches tall. We also see the typical for all Volkswagen plug-in hybrid and EVs C-shaped Daytime Running Lights in the front bumper. The large wheel arches are filled out with huge 22-inch alloys and 285/40 tires.
The expressive exterior invites us to look include. The cabin is sporty and stylish, and features many technology innovations. A lot of materials have been used: from aluminum used for the surrounds and door handles, through the blue leather for the upper part of dashboard, door panels, steering wheel rim, to the glossy-black surfaces of the wing-shaped front side of dashboard, center console, door accents and multifunction switch arrays on steering wheel. Wood accents are making great contrasts, and they are seen around the dashboard and doors, propshaft tunnel trim.
The best thing about the T-Prime Concept GTE is that it completely forgoes the conventional switches, with the exception of the steering wheel stalks. This means that all controls are implemented as touch-sensitive surfaces with white backlighting. As mentioned there is the innovative Active Info Display which simply is digitalized instruments and the infotainment display combined together. It is positioned under a glass surface and forms the newly developed Curved Interaction Area. By the way it is an example how the cockpit of the future Volkswagens would look like as early as 2017.
The new Active Info Display has a 12.0-inch screen where all important vehicle information is shown. The curved home screen is sized 15.0-inch and can be configured by the driver or front passenger. Another revolutionary feature of the T-Prime Concept GTE includes "by wire" control of the gear shift unit for the 8-speed automatic gearbox on the center console. In addition, the multifunction steering wheel comes without switches, because the individual functions are activated by pressure or with a swipe gesture.
To make a tribute to the Chinese lifestyle, (after all the premiere is in Beijing) the color and materials of the T-Prime Concept GTE are based on water, earth, wood, metal, and fire. These five elements have been inseparably intertwined. For instance, water is expressed via the petrol-blue body paint color "Beihai Blue", "Xirallic" and "Ipanema Blue".
The earth is a solid element that brings everything into balance, and leather and Alcantara in the light-grey contrasting color "Mistral", and the wood accents in "Walnut Trunk". The metal can be found in the polished and satin aluminum accents. At last, fire is envisioned through the leather piping on the seats in the color "Himalayan Brown."
Volkswagen T-Prime Concept GTE is driven by a 375 horsepower (276 kW) plug-in hybrid drivetrain. It includes electric motor, turbocharged gas engine, and battery, which can charge externally or during the drive. In the silent electric E-Mode, it permits up to 31 miles of zero-emission driving in metropolitan areas. Housing an 8-speed automatic gearbox and the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine producing 248 hp and 273 lb-ft, as well as an electric motor which develops a power of 134 hp and a maximum torque of 258 lb-ft, the full system power impresses with a total output of 375 hp and 516 lb-ft of system torque. This force is driving all four wheels.
In hybrid operation, the fuel consumption has been measured 29 mpg, while the combined fuel consumption in the NEDC cycle for plug-in hybrid models is 87 mpg. In GTE mode, the T-Prime Concept GTE accelerates to 60 in 6.0 seconds and has a top speed of 139 mph. And if you ask about the recharging, the concept is fully charged after just two hours and 30 minutes.
That's a nice step in Volkswagen's bright hybrid future! We are hopeful.