Volkswagen's betting big on China. The company plans to launch seven new electrified vehicles there, along with building a new design and development center, within the next few years. To kick off this push, Volkswagen unveiled a brand new concept in Beijing that could give us a look at the next-generation Touareg.
The T-Prime Concept GTE looks similar to the currentin that they both resemble lifted wagons, rather than bulky SUVs. The concept carries several familiar elements inside and out, including ridiculous amounts of horizontal character lines, slim lighting and the trademark C-shaped running lights that appear on nearly every electrified VW.
Unlike some concepts that boast a pretty exterior and nothing involving running gear, the T-Prime Concept GTE packs a fully fleshed-out powertrain. Its plug-in hybrid system has a net output of 375 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, yet it's still capable of a 6.0-second 0-60 time and 31 miles of all-electric driving. The latter is thanks to a 14.1-kWh lithium-ion battery, which lives underneath the vehicle. Fuel consumption on the European cycle is estimated at 87 mpg.
Inside the concept, you'll notice a distinct lack of physical switchgear. Instead, designers relied entirely upon touchscreens, gesture and voice controls to work through the vehicle's many functions. Heck, even the shifter isn't physically connected to the transmission.
If you like big screens, you'll dig this concept -- the binnacle has a 12.0-inch unit, the infotainment screen is three inches larger than that and there's also a 9.6-incher for rear-seat occupants. Even the steering wheel utilizes touchscreen tech.
If you happen to be in Beijing for the auto show, you can check out the T-Prime Concept GTE at Volkswagen's booth. It'll likely make more appearances throughout the year, as well.