Volkswagen has taken the wraps off the all–new T-Prime Concept GTE, which serves as the preview for an all-new fullsize sport utility vehicle brimming with the latest technology.
Volkswagen has been rather slow in adding new SUVs to its lineup, which is currently based on the compact Tiguan and midsize Touareg. But starting with 2014 the automaker has been previewing the changes – back then they unveiled the T-Roc concept that should become a Golf-size production crossover. Now last month in Geneva they revealed the T-Cross Breeze, which should give the automaker a representative in the lucrative Polo class. Now in time for the Auto China 2016 the Germans have developed the T-Prime Concept GTE, which should then spawn a crucial fullsize SUV. All these models should complement the SUV range which by then should be featuring the upcoming seven-seat Tiguan, production-ready CrossBlue, and new generation Touareg.
The T-Prime Concept GTE is labeled by the automaker as “one of the most advanced cars in the world” and it appears the concept is not really far from the actual production version. Design wise it comes with a statutory styling with imposing wide chrome front grille and flared wheel arches tucking beneath large 22-inch wheels. The concept is 199.6 inches (5.06 meters) long, which is one centimeter more than the Phaeton flagship sedan. It has a couple of C-shaped LED daytime running lights, with the technology also employed for the headlight and taillight clusters.
The interior boasts a four-seat cabin arrangement, with individual rear seats. The driver gets a 12-inch digital instrument cluster and a curved 15-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. The high-tech credentials are continued via the steering wheel eschewing conventional buttons for touch-sensitive controls. There’s also a 9.6-inch display surface in between the two rear seats, allowing the passengers to access a variety of controls – form seat adjustment to climate inputs via touch-sensitive controls.
The T-Prime Concept GTE uses the MLB platform also deployed with the second-gen Audi Q7 and the Bentley Bentayga. Under the hood sits a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine delivering 248 horsepower (185 kilowatts) and 273 pound-feet of torque (370 Newton meters). The internal combustion unit has been mated to a 134-hp electric motor integrated in the eight-speed automatic transmission and together deliver a combined output of 375 hp (280 kW) and 516 lb-ft (699 Nm) of torque. The all-wheel-drive 4MOTION system also has a limited-slip differential built into the auto box and the T-Prime Concept GTE will sprint to 60 mph (90 km/h) in six seconds on its way to the maximum speed of 139 mph (223 km/h). Since it’s an eco offering, fuel efficiency will be high – combined 87 mpg (NEDC cycle) and enough electric energy in the 14.1-kWh battery pack for a zero emissions drive of up to 31 miles (50 km). Recharging takes eight hours vi a 3.6 kW charging socket or just two if the output doubles to 7.2 kW.