Autoblog's Eric Bryant caught the premiere of Volkswagen's next generation Touareg Thursday. The new SUV features fresh styling, a host of new technology and VW's first direct injection V8.

Leading the parade of new technology is VW's new ABSplus - designed to improve off-road braking performance. Other new safety tech includes an Adaptive Cruise Control which can activate the brakes to bring the car to a stop in emergency situations, a "side scan" lane changing assistant and a number of enhancements to the Touareg's Electronic Stabilization Program.

More after the jump!




Official Press Release

Wolfsburg / Paris, September 2006. Volkswagen is presenting in
Paris the world premiere of a new generation of the Touareg
luxury class SUV. The market launch of the new version of the
top-seller will take place at the end of November 2006. The
Touareg, equipped with over 2,300 redesigned parts, looks
different from its predecessor with a completely modified front
section with crest radiator grill, distinctive headlights and
much more. In addition, a substantial amount of new and
sometimes unique technical developments are being employed.
The Touareg will also be available as the first Volkswagen with
an eight cylinder direct injection gasoline-powered engine
(V8 FSI, 257 kW / 350 PS).

ABSplus.
ABSplus, developed and patented by Volkswagen, is a world first:
The standard equipment system shortens the braking distance of
the Touareg by up to 20% on loose driving surfaces. Before now
SUVs became unstable when braking hard on surfaces such as
gravel or sand and steerability and stopping distance were
significantly impaired. This is where ABSplus comes in: Thanks to
an innovative traction control system the Touareg pushes parts
of the surface material in front of the temporarily locked-up
wheels. This creates a type of braking wedge. The result: Braking
action is greatly increased without impacting steerability and the
stopping distance is correspondingly reduced.

Front Scan.
No less innovative than ABSPlus is Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
with a new follow-to-stop feature: in this combination the system
is referred to as Front Scan. The radar-based distance control
automatically slows down and accelerates the vehicle within a
previously defined range of speed depending on traffic
conditions. The system now employed in the Touareg slows the
car down to a complete stop in emergency situations. Also new:
the stopping distance control integrated into the ACC system.
Ahead of certain situations it "arms" the brakes as a preventative
measure.

Side Scan.
Another assistant system in the new Touareg generation, being
introduced for the first time in a Volkswagen, is the lane
changing assistant (Side Scan). This system monitors the area
next to and behind the Touareg and a control lamp in the exterior
mirrors warns of a possible risk of collision when changing lanes.
Brembo brakes / tire pressure monitoring.
Apart from this, a new 18 inch Brembo brake for engines over
230 kW and an optional second-generation tire pressure
monitoring system have been added to the Touareg technologies
for crash avoidance and active safety.

ESP innovations.
New features have been added to the ESP electronic stabilization
program. In detail these include a now hydraulic instead of
pneumatic brake assistant (optimal operational reliability),
preventative brake pressure build-up when the gas pedal is
released suddenly, Active Rollover Protection (ARP) to increase
stability, rain brake support (windshield wiper effect for wet
road surfaces), fading brake support (additional pressure
build-up optimizes constant braking) and understeer control
logic (improves turning behavior when understeering).

Driving dynamics package with dynamic response.
The Touareg masters tough off-road use and extreme tours and
yet offers the comfort of a sedan and remarkable sportiness.

Previously, this dynamic could be increased in terms of the
chassis via an optional sport chassis for Touareg models with
steel suspension. A sport chassis – with dynamic response in this
case - is now also being added to the models with pneumatic
shock suspension. "Driving dynamics package with dynamic
response" adds a hard spring rate to the already existing "Sport"
mode of the manually and automatically controllable pneumatic
shock absorption system. This increase in dynamics and safety is
achieved, among other things, via reinforced stabilizers,
absorbers regulated by steering wheel movement, a modified
pneumatic shock absorption system and new software. Driving
comfort remains just as good in normal suspension mode as with
models without sport chassis.

Rollover Sensor.
In the area of passive safety a new rollover sensor for sensing
vehicle yaw angle and yaw speeds is also being employed. It
detects whether the vehicle is getting into a rollover situation.
The data from the sensor flows together with the parameters
detected by the acceleration sensors built into every Volkswagen
into the airbag control unit. If in a comparison of the data the
risk of a rollover is determined, the side and head/thorax airbags
are automatically activated to lower the risk of injury.

Dynaudio sound system.
High-end in the entertainment area, too: The Touareg is the first
SUV in the world that can be equipped with a sound system from
Danish hi-fi specialist Dynaudio. Main features: Distortion free
hi-fidelity sound, ten high-end speakers, ten-channel amplifier
and 620 Watt total output.

Instruments.
A new multimeter for the multifunctional display enables a
detailed and now multicolor presentation of information.
The display has a clear layout and now shows navigation
pictograms in 3D. In addition, new features such as Front Scan
can be perfectly presented on the multifunctional display.

V8 FSI.
The new Touareg offers another innovation in terms of drive
technology: the first eight cylinder direct injection
gasoline-powered engine from Volkswagen. The Touareg's new
V8 FSI achieves 257 kW / 350 PS and generates maximum
torque of 440 Nm. The other two gasoline engines generate
206 kW / 280 PS (V6 FSI) and 331 kW / 450 PS (W12). In addition,
there are three direct injection diesel-powered engines for
the Touareg, all combined with a particle filter (DPF) as standard
equipment. The TDIs have output of 128 kW / 174 PS (TDI),
165 kW / 225 PS (V6 TDI) and 230 kW / 313 PS (V10 TDI).

Front section design.
The front section of the Touareg was completely redesigned.
Except for the engine hood no part remained untouched. The
new Touareg is immediately recognizable as the latest generation
by the typical Volkswagen crest radiator grill in chrome design.
Although always individually designed for each model, it has
become an unmistakable stylistic feature of the brand. The
second distinctive feature of the new generation Touareg are the
organically shaped headlight casings (optionally bi-xenon with
cornering and turning light). Similar to the latest Volkswagens
such as the Eos, the lower area features a round curvature. A
single glance at the headlights and the crest radiator
grill makes it evident that the front bumper has also been completely
redesigned.
Elegant: a chrome-plated transverse web in
the outer air intakes of the bumper. Illuminating during
inclement weather: the round, protectively integrated fog
lights.
Aerodynamic: The exterior mirrors were also redesigned
and now offer and even braver face to the wind.

Rear section design.
Modifications to the rear section, too: There's a new hatchback
spoiler that improves aerodynamics. The rear and brake lights
were technically modified and the optional tinted glass of the
rear lights was improved. The designers also redesigned the
lower area of the bumper and exhaust pipes for a more dynamic
look.

Side section design.
In silhouette it's the new light alloy wheels and the aerodynamic
mirrors that identify the latest generation of the Touareg.
New colors are also available: "Atacama Grey Metallic",
"Mountain Grey Metallic", "Artic Blue-Silver Metallic",
"Silver Leaf Metalic", "Sierra Red Pearl Effect" and "Galapagos
Anthracite Metallic".

INTERIOR
New seating system with perfected ergonomics and new design

Seating system.
A basic and a "comfort" seating system is available for the
Touareg. The "comfort" seating system was redesigned for the
latest Touareg. The partially leather ("Cricket") and fully leather
("Nappa") seats are now not just distinguishable by leather, but
also by design. Both are also distinguished from the unchanged
basic seating system. The very exclusive fully leather seats
feature a pronounced level of comfort; they resemble their
counterparts in the Phaeton. The fully leather seats have a sporty
cut. In general, the back seat of all versions were redesigned. It
weighs eight kilos less and when folded down now offers a level
surface between backrest and cargo f loor. The new colors
available in combination with the "comfort" seats are "Latte
Macchiato" and "Sioux". The basic seats optionally available in
leather ("Cricket") can now also be ordered in "Pure Beige".