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VW Teases High-Tech Hybrid SUV Concept Ahead of Beijing Auto Show

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VW teased its latest concept SUV ahead of the 2016 Beijing Auto Show.Courtesy of VW

VW teased a conceptual design of a hybrid SUV ahead of the Beijing Auto Show that emphasizes luxury and advanced technology, including a lounge-style interior and an interactive digital display system.

The an online video teaser (and an email from VW) about the vehicle is light on details. VW says more will be revealed as closer to the opening of the Beijing Auto Show on April 25.

But here’s what we know: The luxury SUV concept will include new digital display systems aimed at passengers, not so much the driver. It’s a design element that’s meant to appeal to well-heeled consumers who might otherwise be shuttled around by a driver.

The concept SUV will have a plug-in hybrid powertrain with 376 horsepower and an electric range of about 31 miles. The predicted combined fuel consumption is 78 miles per gallon. The car would accelerate 0 to 62 mph in 6 seconds, and would have a top speed of 139 MPH.

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The 13-second video clip from VW highlights some of the advanced LED lighting on the vehicle, which extends across the grille and through the VW emblem. The headlights have a square C-like shape.

Volkswagen could have even a tougher time repairing its image:

To be clear, this is not a production vehicle. And VW is fond of introducing concept vehicles, many of which are never produced. Typically, these kinds of cars are meant to express where a company is headed and what technology might show up in later production models. It’s possible that some of these elements will appear on future models of the Touareg, the automaker’s mid-size luxury crossover SUV.

Earlier this year, Volkswagen introduced a concept version of the existing Tiguan SUV ahead of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The five-seat plug-in hybrid car, called the Tiguan GTE Active, is based on a redeveloped second-generation Tiguan SUV that was revealed at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2015. The Tiguan SUV, which will hit the U.S. market in 2017, is bigger than the original concept with a longer wheelbase and room to seat seven people.

Škoda, the VW Group brand from the Czech Republic, introduced a plug-in hybrid called the VisionS at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show in March. The concept has room for six passengers across three rows of seats. A production model that has some of the same design features of this SUV concept will arrive in the European market this fall.