VW's electric crossover concept is more T-Prime than Optimus Prime

Future 4x4s could pack some seriously sweet curved touchscreens too

It looks like a big, ultramodern VW Touareg. Am I wrong?

Not at all. It's a rather splendid observation, because this T-Prime concept definitely points towards the large SUV of Volkswagen's future. The plug-in hybrid crossover could have a powerful 2.0l turbocharged petrol engine, assisted by a 134bhp electric motor.

Total power sent to all four wheels is 375bhp and a monster 700Nm of torque. That's enough to tear a caravan in half, let alone tow it.

Hmmm, a reaction to the whole 'Dieselgate' thing?

Indeed, as this big fella belches out a claimed 63g/km of CO2, which is way better than most of its current line-up, and can cruise around for 31-miles in pure electric mode with nothing nasty emanating from the tailpipes.

Expect to see more VW products using some sort of hybrid system and sporting the GTE badge in the future, which is good news for the planet.

It's a concept, so does that mean loads of crazy tech inside?

The designers have been fairly reserved, but the T-Prime's interior is beautifully understated. It shuns buttons and dials for a plethora of ultra-sharp TFT displays that can be controlled with simple voice commands.

The instrument dials are replaced with a screen - a la Audi's TT and R8 - and there's a cool Curved Interaction Area, with a 15in arched display that can be configured with different apps depending on the driver profile.

Sounds neat. Anything for the passengers?

Weirdly, the concept has two separate seats in the rear, each with its own 10.1in removable infotainment tablet and a 9.6in display slapped betwixt the thrones that controls air-conditioning and car functionality.

It's highly likely that a production car would feature a more traditional bench seating arrangement, plus the option to specify a couple of foldable seats in the boot, so it can compete with the ace Volvo XC90 in terms of human-lugging abilities.

Mega, when can I buy one?

It's just a concept for now, but Volkswagen reckons some of the technology will be introduced to new UK models next year - and that includes the curved display and a snazzy multifunction steering wheel that we forgot to mention.

It uses haptic feedback, so users can physically sense when they are interacting with menus and adjusting settings. VW says it will spoil the Chinese market with seven new hybrid and electric models in the next four years, but Europe should be towards the front of the queue for a production version of this beast.