4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl S/C gas/electric hybrid 8A)
Options on test vehicle
Supercharged, direct-injected V6, gasoline with auto-stop/start
2,995cc (183 cu-in)
Cast iron/aluminum alloy
DOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable intake + exhaust-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
380 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
425 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
Eight-speed automatic with console shifter with sport mode
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
I = 4.85; II = 2.84; III = 1.86; IV = 1.44; V = 1.66; VI = 1.00; VII = 0.82; VIII = 0.67; R: 0.83; FD =
A supercharger/electric motor/gasoline V6 makes for stonking runs down the drag strip. The Touareg positively powers off the line, getting to its 6,500-rpm shift point (500 rpm above redline) quickly. Fastest run was achieved via power braking to raise the revs, and with the automatic in Sport mode, which gave quick shifts. Never dropped more than one bar below a full battery charge. Manual shifting via console lever; will not hold gears at redline, weak attempt at throttle blipping with very slow downshifts.
Mushy pedal went almost all the way to the floor with the first panic stop and improved only slightly in later ones. Disconcerting in a vehicle this heavy, and surprising, what with those huge front brakes. Vehicle remained stable, though, and stopping distances are very good considering the Touareg Hybrid weighs over 5,000 pounds.
Slalom: Overly light but quick steering, minimal feedback. Overwhelming sensation is one of sitting very high. Suspension is squishy soft; easy to get into an understeer push if you enter the slalom with too much speed. Electronic stability control could not be fully turned off, but its intervention point -- when it would brake appropriate wheels -- is quite high. Skid pad: Impressive how much the Touareg could be controlled via the throttle, which wasn't as evident in the slalom. Quick throttle shifts resulted in slight oversteer moments, making it fun to keep the Touareg on the intended arc. Helpful, since the steering offers little feedback for the driver.