The new Volkswagen Touareg is still very off-road capable but takes less of a "go anywhere" approach on the base model in trade for lighter weight and better fuel efficiency.
2011 Volkswagen Touareg (Courtesy: Volkswagen)
2011 Volkswagen Touareg (Courtesy: Volkswagen)
You can view more images of the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg in this linked slideshow.
The base model has been to Jenny Craig and has lost an amazing 460 pounds in the process. There will be gasoline-hybrid, diesel and traditional gasoline powered models available. All engine options will be yoked to an eight speed automatic transmission. Overall the new 2011 Touareg is said to be 20 percent more efficient.
As mentioned above, Volkswagen did remove some extreme off-roading capability that most buyers never used from the base model, but you can get a "Terrain Tech Packet" (they'll probably change that name for US models) that features a more rugged transfer case designed for off-road duty, reduction gearing and center and rear differentials, each with up to 100 percent locking.
The interior of the first Touareg was always a highlight and the next generation looks to keep that streak going. What remains to be seen is what Volkswagen has done about the quality of the Touareg. The first generation model was dinged by many for faults continuously appearing. At one point Volkswagen even handed out airline vouchers to disgruntled owners.
Provided that Volkswagen can get its quality house in order, the new Touareg looks be an attractive, efficient sequel to what was a very handsome original.
Full press release is quoted below:
Wolfsburg / Munich, February 10, 2010 - Volkswagen is unveiling the completely redeveloped Touareg as a world premiere. It is the most technically innovative “VW” since the brand has been in existence. This Touareg is reinterpreting the fascinating multipurpose SUV idea in a contemporary way – thanks to a range of engines that are nearly 20 percent more fuel efficient and a large variety of new assistance and safety systems. The Touareg will also be the first and only off-roader in Europe by a German car maker to be available in a hybrid version too. It sets standards among fully off-road capable SUVs with petrol engines that have a fuel consumption value of just 8.2 litres fuel per 100 kilometres. The Touareg Hybrid can be driven up to 50 km/h in purely electric mode - emissions-free. Among the diesel engines, the Touareg V6 TDI with 7.4 litre combined fuel consumption now posts the best value in the segment of genuine SUVs. Both versions, the Touareg Hybrid and V6 TDI, are the most fuel efficient petrol and diesel SUVs ever built in Europe in this large vehicle class.
New era SUV – lighter, more aerodynamic and fuel efficient
As has already been accomplished on the globally successful, smaller Tiguan, Volkswagen is systematically striving for sustainability on the new Touareg too. The first precondition was met: The SUV was lightened by 208 kilograms in the base version! A quantum leap. Yet, the body has five percent greater torsional rigidity, which makes it the leader in its competitive class. A second precondition was met as well: Designers attained a significantly improved Cd value. Along with aerodynamic refinement efforts, another factor at work here is that this Touareg is built lower to the ground than the previous model. Together with front end styling based on the new Volkswagen design DNA, this results in a smaller frontal area. The third precondition: All engines, now offered with a standard 8-speed automatic transmission – a first in this market segment – demonstrate significant fuel economy advantages over the previous model; in some cases the advantage is far greater than two litres per 100 kilometres.
SUV for all trails – All-wheel drive in two versions
Also modified in pursuit of reduced fuel consumption was the standard all-wheel drive. In the base version ("4Motion"), all new generation Touaregs have all-wheel drive with Torsen limited-slip differential (4MOTION; climbing ability: 31 degrees). Like the Tiguan Track & Field, the Touareg also has an "Off-road driving programme", which - at the press of a button - tunes the ABS, EDS and ASR for off-road duty, activates Hill Descent Assist and adjusts the automatic gearshift points.
Instead of a Torsen differential, the V6 TDI can be ordered with an optional "Terrain Tech Packet" that has an even more rugged transfer case designed for off-road duty. It includes reduction gearing and centre and rear differentials, each with up to 100 percent locking (4XMOTION; climbing ability: 45 degrees). Similar to the first Touareg generation, this version also has a rotary switch the driver now uses to adapt the car to specific duty conditions over five levels: 1. "On-Road"; 2. "Off-Road" (like "Off-road driving programme" plus automatic control of the mechanical locks); 3. Low (like "Off-road" plus activation of reduced gearing, higher shift points, no automatic upshift in manual mode); 4. Addition of centre differential lock; 5. Addition of rear differential lock. Equipped like this, the Touareg can conquer any terrain on Earth.
SUV for everyday driving – more space, more innovations
Volkswagen has not only made the new Touareg lighter, more fuel efficient and an agile performer; it has also made it into an even more versatile, all-round vehicle. The new interior was made more functional, the seats more comfortable and leg room in the rear is larger. Now the rear bench seat has 160 millimetres in longitudinal adjustment, and the backrest angle can be adjusted. Electrically unlatched at the press of a button as an option, it folds down in seconds and frees up 1,642 litres of cargo space. Already standard equipment in the base version is a radio-CD and info system, which is intuitively controlled over a 6.5-inch touch-screen.
The parking brake is now activated by pushbutton. The engine (V6 versions) automatically shuts off at traffic lights and restarts as soon as the driver releases the brake pedal (Stop-Start system). As an option, the tailgate can be opened and closed by a RF remote control unit integrated in the car key. The largest panoramic sunroof of all SUVs provides for light even on overcast days. The innovative "Area View" utilises four cameras to detect the Touareg’s surroundings and this enhances safety. Also offering protection are up to nine airbags. Lane Assist ensures that the vehicle does not stray from the right path; meanwhile, Side Assist warns of vehicles approaching from the rear when changing lanes. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with integrated Front Assist can brake to a stop in an emergency and tension the seatbelts as a precautionary measure. Bi-Xenon headlights with Dynamic Light Assist perceive oncoming traffic and adjust the light beam to eliminate unwanted glare, and adaptive roll compensation ensures that the Touareg sits solidly on the street. For the first time, there will be special features on the new Touareg under the new "Exclusive" badge from Volkswagen Individual. Options that can be ordered include 19-inch alloy wheels ("Girona" type), fine wood inserts ("Olive Ash") and a leather interior ("Nappa") in the two-colour combinations "Dark Burgundy / Titan Black" or "Pepper Beige / Titan Black".
Touareg – the best of two worlds
About 500,000 car drivers chose to buy the first generation of the SUV. It is a luxury sport utility vehicle that offers a high level of comfort, sporty driving properties, avant-garde styling, excellent quality and unlimited expedition capabilities – essentially the best of the passenger car and off-road worlds unified in one concept. This is now being followed up by the new Touareg – a high-end and versatile all-round vehicle that brings these two worlds together even more perfectly. The Touareg will already be available at dealers in April.
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Equipment and technical data apply to models offered in Germany. They may differ in other countries.