Volkswagen has unveiled the third-generation version of its Touareg large SUV, ahead of putting the car on UK sale in the third quarter of 2018.
The new model was revealed in Beijing, China, reflecting the increasing importance of the Chinese market to European brands – Volkswagen describes China as “its largest market” and sales of SUVs in the Asian country have mushroomed in recent times.
Described as a milestone for the brand’s SUV campaign, the new Touareg is a global SUV and is being pitched further upmarket as a premium model on the basis of new design, significantly advanced technology and higher quality materials.
The Touareg is 8cm longer and 4cm wider than the vehicle it replaces, and this results in a significant increase in luggage capacity, from 697 to 810 litres with all seats up. The body, meanwhile, has seen a significant diet, 106kg lighter due to the use of 48/52% mix of aluminium and high-strength steels in its construction.
Highlight of the interior is Volkswagen’s ‘Innovision Cockpit’ – a fully digital instrument setup on a 12-inch display can be combined with the Discover Premium infotainment system which uses its own 15-inch screen, resulting in a major reduction in buttons and switches. Volkswagen says that the car can adapt to individual occupants’ tastes, using a new level of connected systems and programmes.
The Touareg will also offer the largest and widest range of driver assistance, handling and comfort systems yet seen on a Volkswagen. These range to a thermal-imaging camera spotting pedestrians and animals at night, all-wheel steering and a front cross traffic alert system.
European Touaregs will initially go on sale with V6 diesel engines of either 231hp or 286hp. A V6 petrol engine of 340hp is set to follow, while a V8 turbodiesel of 421hp is also planned and is predicted to be in the eventual UK line-up.
Early Chinese versions of the Touareg will include a plug-in hybrid model with 367hp – Volkswagen is not saying when this is likely to come to Europe though it is expected to. All powertrains are expected to include an eight-speed auto transmission and all-wheel-drive.