Replacing the almost eight-year old second-generation model, the new Touareg moves further away from the somewhat chunky off-road nature of the original, and adopts a sleeker appearance with cues taken from the Arteon, Chinese market Phideon and Atlas sold in North America.
Measuring 4 878 mm in overall length with a height of 1 702 mm and width of 1 984 mm, the Touareg comes in at 77 mm longer, 44 mm wider and seven millimetres lower than its predecessor, but ticks the scales at 106 kg less thanks to the switch to the same MLB Evo platform as the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus.
One of the biggest innovations is on the safety front which Volkswagen claims makes the Touareg one of the safest cars in the world today. The extensive list, both standard and optional, includes Traffic Ham Assist with semi-autonomous driving up to 60 km/h, Front Cross Traffic Assist, Lane and Side Assist, Automatic Post Collision Braking, Front Assist with City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring, Park Assist, Proactive Occupant Protection, and Emergency Assist.
In addition to Trailer Assist and Dynamic Road Sign Display, the Touareg comes equipped with Driver Alert in case of driver fatigue being detected, and a new Night Vision system with a thermal imaging camera.
Like its interior, the Touareg has been extensively re-engineered underneath with aluminium and lightweight steel being used for the five-link suspension setup, combined with a new four-corner air-suspension setup, electronic damping control and active roll compensation using electro-mechanically adjustable anti-roll bars.
On certain models, the Touareg will also be offered with an Off-road package consisting of a bigger 90-litre fuel tank with protection guard, underbody protection, two towing eyes, radiator guard, aerodynamic fairing and stone impact protector. A further option though is four-wheel steering that activates at speeds below 37 km/h.
Model-wise, Volkswagen will offer the Touareg in three trim levels, each with their own array of exterior and interior touches, namely Atmosphere, Elegance and R-Line. In term of engines, European models will be had with a single 3.0-litre TSI V6 making 250 kW / 450 Nm and a similarly sized TDI producing either 170 kW / 500 Nm or 210 kW / 600 Nm. A 4.0-litre TDI V8 developing 310 kW and a mammoth 900 Nm will debut at a later stage.
Initially, a plug-in hybrid model will be sold in China mating an electric motor with the petrol V6 for a total system output of 270 kW, and an electric-only range of 58 km.
On all models, drive goes to all four wheels via an eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox, with 4Motion Active Control incorporating five driving modes; Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport and Individual. On models fitted with the aforementioned Off-road package, a further five driving modes are added, namely Snow, Off-road Auto, Sand, Gravel and Off-road expert.
Sales are expected to commence in the European summer with South African availability and pricing yet to be announced.
Article written by Autodealer