The 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid will start at $60,565. Aiming at efficiency, as well as performance, Volkswagen claims combined fuel economy in the mid-20-mpg range, while allowing zero-to-60 times of 6.5 seconds, and a top speed of 150 miles per hour for the Touareg Hybrid. Towing capacity will be more than 7,700 pounds.
The Touareg Hybrid is not only the automaker’s first hybrid, but VW will also be the first automaker in America to offer both diesel and hybrid models of the same vehicle.
The Touareg Hybrid pairs the 333-hp, 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 from Audi’s S4 sedan and S5 convertible with a 47-hp electric motor, for a combined output of 380 hp. The hybrid replaces the V-8 at the top of the Touareg range.
The VW hybrid also has a new, eight-speed automatic transmission with two “eco” modes for fuel-efficient driving, regenerative braking that captures energy so it can be stored for later use by the onboard electric motor, and automatic shutting off of the engine when it’s not needed. Other fuel-savers: A start-stop system, and a “freewheel” feature that disengages the engine from the transmission when the driver’s foot lifts from the accelerator. With a nickel-metal-hydride battery pack, the Touareg Hybrid can cruise at about 30 m.p.h. on electric power alone (but not for very long).