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Could this high-tech Volkswagen concept preview the next-generation Touareg?

Volkswagen Beijing concept
Volkswagen’s next concept car is a premium SUV that’s brimming with high-tech features. Likely a preview of the next-generation Touareg, the yet-unnamed design study will be presented to the public next week during the biennial Beijing Auto Show.

On paper, the concept is impressive. It’s equipped with a fuel-sipping plug-in hybrid drivetrain that pumps out 376 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. It returns 78 mpg in a mixed European cycle when it’s running on both electricity and gasoline. Alternatively, the SUV is capable of driving on electricity alone for over 30 miles. And in spite of its green credentials, it hits 60 mph from a stop in six seconds flat — about half a second faster than a Golf GTI — and it goes on to an Autobahn-friendly top speed of 139 mph.

The concept lives up to its premium aspirations with a more refined evolution of Volkswagen’s current design language. From what we can tell, it gets a tall front end characterized by LED daytime running lights, a sculpted hood, and a wide three-slat grille. The back end features horizontal tail lamps, and head-turning flared quarter panels that emphasize the concept’s width.

The teaser images don’t show the SUV’s interior, but it sounds like Volkswagen is saving the best for last. The Wolfsburg-based firm promises that the design study boasts a lounge-like cabin designed around the passengers. It takes interactivity to a whole new level by combining into a single unit the dash-mounted screen that typically displays the infotainment system and the Active Info Display found behind the steering wheel. If that rings a bell, it’s because the retro-inspired Budd-e concept unveiled earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was equipped with a similar setup.

Volkswagen’s next concept will be unveiled online in the coming days. Stay tuned, as DT Cars will be in the Chinese capital to bring you live images of the SUV as soon as it’s unveiled.

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