Volkswagen’s China headquarters is only one block away from the TheTycho.com office buildings in the Sanlitun area in Beijing. I often pass by on my way to lunch or beer. Today saw a fleet of around 10 brand new Touareg hybrids, ready for launch later this week.
The official Chinese fule concumption card shows 9.2 litre per 100 kilometer. Engine details: a 333-horsepower, supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine hat produces 324 pound-feet of torque. Mated to the gasoline engine via an automatic dry clutch is a 47-horsepower, 34-kilowatt electric motor that produces 99 pound-feet of torque, bringing the system total to 375 horsepower and 425 pound-feet of torque. (thanks to Motortrend for that).
Hybrids are not exactly popular in China; BYD, Toyota and others failed to sell any significant numbers. Chinese car buyers think hybrids are too expensive. But nobody actually tried to sell a hybrid based on a car that was expensive anyway. That indeed is exactly what Volkswagen is trying now, and my guess is they will succeed. Being nice to the environment is a luxury still few in China can afford…
Hybrids, hybrids for all.