The news out of Beijing gives Volkswagen, recently reeling from the effects of the diesel scandal, a breath of fresh air. The German automaker unveiled its T-Prime Concept GTE full-size crossover SUV at Auto China 2016 in Beijing.
According to Volkswagen, the T-Prime Concept GTE previews the future Volkswagen SUV. The full-size SUV features a plug-in hybrid powertrain, all-wheel drive, an innovative new curved infotainment display that merges with interactive displays and controls, and more. The effect new human-machine interface (HMI) that VW says is “intuitive, fun, and precise to use.”
The T-Prime Concept GTE is powered by a 375-horsepower plug-in hybrid drive that incorporates an electric motor, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine, and a battery which can be charged externally or while driving. The engine is mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The T-Prime operates in three modes, says Volkswagen: all-electric E-Mode, hybrid, and GTE mode. In city driving, the T-Prime Concept GTE can get up to 31 miles in all-electric mode. While in hybrid operation, fuel consumption is 29 mpg (in combined mode, using energy from the charged battery).
Zero-to-60 mph is accomplished in 6.0 seconds. The T-Prime Concept GTE has a top speed of 139 mph in GTE mode.
Inside the T-Prime Concept GTE, the look and feel is upscale, with a combination of aluminum, blue leather and wood. The emphasis is on touchscreens, gesture and voice controls. The video-oriented dashboard features two screens that arc around the driver. The active info display is a 12.0-inch display screen. Functions not covered by the infotainment screen – such as power windows – can be initiated by touch-sensitive control surfaces.
The centerpiece, however, is the massive 15.0-inch curved infotainment display that can be programmed by either the driver or front passenger.
There’s even a 9.6-inch display screen located between the two seats in the lounge-like rear seating area. A 10.1-inch tablet snaps into the back of each front headrest.
Look for the curved interaction area to be a feature in VW models of the future – a future that begins as early as 2017, according to Volkswagen.