VW cancels the hybrid drive in the Touareg luxury SUV. The 279 kW / 380 PS eco version no longer appears in the new price list, and the model is now being withdrawn from the market in the USA. The reason is apparently insufficient demand. In the first six months, just 28 hybrid Touaregs were newly registered across Germany. The alternative diesel models offered sold more than 5.000 copies in the same period. Demand is similarly low in the United States: after around 390 units in 2011, there were barely two dozen buyers in 2014 - and that in a country with a hybrid market of around half a million vehicles a year.
In Germany, the reason for the weak demand is likely to be the low savings potential in consumption. The full hybrid model with its combination of V6 petrol and electric motor requires 8,2 liters of super according to the standard, the comparable V6 diesel (193 kW / 262 hp) manages with 6,6 liters, but costs a good 20.000 euros less. Because the hybrid is extremely expensive, most recently VW called 78.900 euros.
In general, the era of hybrid drives seems to be over for the time being among German manufacturers. Touareg's sister model, the Porsche Cayenne, has already switched to plug-in hybrid technology, in which a larger battery and the possibility of external charging ensure greater ranges in all-electric operation. The new generation of the Audi Q7 is also only available with a plug-in hybrid. The same applies to the BMW X5 and Mercedes M or GLE class. Even outside of the SUV segment, the German brands have sidelined the hybrid. New models are only available with plug-in hybrid technology. Such vehicles achieve standard consumption values of around three liters - without, however, taking power consumption into account. At least for the manufacturers, the low value is tempting in view of increasingly stringent emission standards. It remains to be seen whether customers will appreciate plug-in hybrids more than classic hybrid drives.
Author: Holger Holzer / SP-X