• Feb 10, 2010
2011 Volkswagen Touareg - Click above for high-res image gallery

We weren't expecting to see the new second generation Volkswagen Touareg until the beginning of March at the Geneva Motor Show, but VW rolled out its big SUV at an event in Munich earlier today. The basic shape and proportions of the exterior haven't changed much, but the body sides are now more sculpted than before, making it a bit more planted and – dare we say – sporty. At the front the Touareg has picked up the new horizontal VW family face that debuted on the latest Golf and Polo, finally discarding the more vertical and heavily chromed fascia of the original.

Fuel efficiency was of paramount importance in the redesign, and weight reduction plays an a key role. The original Touareg was always porky for its size, so VW put the 'ute on a diet and the new base Touareg is now nearly 460 pounds lighter than its predecessor. Of course, a weight loss program only gets you so far, so the powertrains needed an upgrade too.

The new Touareg brings with it Volkswagen's first ever mass produced hybrid drivetrain. The hybrid combines the VW Group's supercharged and direct injected 3.0-liter V6 with an electric motor and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Touareg hybrid gets a combined rating of 28.6 mpg (U.S.) on the EU cycle, a number that will probably be closer to 24-25 when it arrives Stateside. The diesel powered TDI does even better now with a rating of 31.8 mpg (U.S.). The Touareg is also available with a normally aspirated 3.6-liter gasoline V6 and for the first time the awesome 335 horsepower 4.2-liter TDI V8. Even the diesel V8 is rated at 25.8 mpg (U.S.). Unfortunately Americans won't be able to get that powerplant.

All the engines are mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment, a first for the class. Overall the new Touareg is about 20 more handsome. See for yourself in the gallery below and hit the jump for the press release and three videos of the all-new Touareg.

[Source: Volkswagen]

Show full PR text
To the Point: World Premiere:
New Touareg takes the SUV idea into the future
Touareg debuts with hybrid drive and high-tech range of engines

Volkswagen SUV is 208 kilograms lighter and 20 percent more fuel efficient
Wolfsburg/Munich, 10 February 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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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I like it. Much more attractive than the old one and the interior looks great.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The hands of Walter de' Silva at work...thanks for a better looking Touareg.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wish vw would make their cars look different from each other again.
        • 4 Years Ago

        Better mpg than the Hybrid Highlander
        Better looking
        Off-Road capable (much better than X5)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, they should simply call it the "Golf Touareg Edition"
        • 4 Years Ago
        TruckTrend.com reports that "The starting price for the new 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid in Germany is a hefty $99,500, nearly $31,000 more than the base Touareg TDI."

        Ouch !!!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hey REV,

        This is the Touareg, not the Tiguan, it's a $20,000 Dollar Class above the Tiguan, why on earth are you comparing it to the forester?
        • 4 Years Ago
        If it can't compete with a Forester, why mention the Highlander??? And goodness, who are the fanboys bringing the Cayenne into the equation? Please...

        "Nonetheless, this Subie never ceases to amaze. It costs over three grand less than the CX-7 and nearly eight thousand less than the Tiguan, yet it's quicker, roomier, more fuel-miserly, and more off-road-capable. More for less. That's the kind of formula that wins comparison tests.

        1st place: 2009 Subaru Forester XT Limited
        Quick, roomy, fuel-efficient, and well-priced, the Forester checks just about every box-most important, the one for first place.

        2nd place: 2008 Mazda CX-7 Grand Touring AWD
        Striking lines, sublime steering, and athletic chassis make this the driver's choice. Subpar fuel economy and hefty curb weight make it our second choice.

        3rd place: 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL 4Motion
        Cute, refined, and feature-laden, the Tiguan is a winner. Were it five grand less, it might've been this test's winner."
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well.. obviously this new Touareg doesn't really advance the brand nor try to do so. Exterior design change is so subtle that to untrained eyes, it will be indistinguishable compared to the 1st gen model.

      It is interesting that VW design team decided not to bring on the sharp bone line that runs the length of the car found in Golf, Polo.. etc. It seems to have softer and more voluptuous side body compared to its lower sibling. On those released photos, especially with that beige color, the car appears to be very doll and ultra conservative, a little too much. The front end execution also seems to be less successful than that of Golf/GTI/Polo/NCC concept car. I will have to see it in person, but a bit too busy and cluttered.

      Headlight and Taillamp have very nice details in typical VW/Audi fashion. Interior yet again shows off the VWs commitment to excellent level of details, materials, and very business-like layout with no flairs that will last long without looking too dated.

      Overall, it is another ultra conservative design by VW that leaves me desire more...
        • 4 Years Ago
        oops.. 'DULL' not 'doll'
      • 4 Years Ago
      why would you get the hybrid petrol honestly? I can almost guarantee that it wont be as fast and its already proven to be not as frugal as the V6 diesel, which will probably also be cheaper!

      Thank god we'll be getting the V8TDI here in australia although I don't know why you'd need it. I've driven both the V6TDI and V8TDI engines in the Audi Q7 (not 'similar', the SAME engines they put in the VW, made in the same factory by the same people) and honestly the V8 is just overkill. I can imagine with the edition of the 8 speed box (both tested were 6-Speeds already), both will be even faster and better on fuel.

      Hears an interesting test. Back to back the V6TDI Audi Q7 Vs. Toyota Landcruiser V8 turbo diesel in towing the Audi feels much more at ease and this is towing one of those big long horse boxes up and down 15-30 degree slopes and terrain.

      I honestly did't know how a little 3ltr V6 turbo diesel could possibly be THAT GOOD, and it is. Truly, to ANYONE thinking about a VW touareg, Audi Q7, porsche cayenne, BMW X5 or Merc ML, PLEASE test drive the diesel option before making a final decision.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "why would you get the hybrid petrol honestly? I can almost guarantee that it wont be as fast and its already proven to be not as frugal as the V6 diesel,"

        really? How's that. I'd love to know how a truck with 380hp and 420tq is going to loose to a truck with 240hp and 402tq.

        Do yourself a favor and put yourself in vw's shoes. Tons of hybrid suvs sell in the us, a fair percentage but not huge of diesel t-regs sell here. Why not offer a hybrid variant with slightly less fuel economy and the horsepower of a cayanne S? it's a win win situation.
      • 4 Years Ago
      WHAT IS WRONG WITH VW? The back looks a lot like the Q5 and the front looks like a Golf? Something is wrong. From the side it hasn't really changed very much from the already outdated model. The interior is great and hopefully the quality is there too mechanically but this styling is so boring and needs to depart from their cars. It's an SUV isn't it?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why would anybody even look at the hybrid, when you can get the TDI.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Because there are still people out there who believe Hybrid is more efficient. I beg to differ, 33 Us MPG TDI 28 US MPG Hybrid combined says it all. Mind you EPA will shave off 4 mpg off both no doubt, and the EPA test standard is more in favor of Hybrid because of the stop and go tests which utilize the electric engine even on the highway test. All in all TDI wins here.
        • 4 Years Ago
        no doubt this hybrid will be faster, but I am sure the V6 TDi will be in the high six seconds as well, barely worth the extra cost. I'm sure the hybrid will "look" more efficient on EPA, actually i'm almost sure of it. Knowing how they do their testing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Sam - nope. according to vw the V6 TDI is in the high 7s, which, unfortunately, is slow territory, ala the rx.
        • 4 Years Ago
        428 lb ft of torque and only .4 seconds faster than a Forester XT but it costs how much more???


        Time for another diet....
        • 4 Years Ago
        Because the TDI doesn't hit sixty in 6.2 seconds.
        Because the TDI doesn't have 375 hp.
        Because the TDI doesn't have 428 lb ft of torque (both numbers just updated by vw)
        Because the TDI isn't faster than the Cayenne S and isn't as quick as a Cayenne GTS
        Because the TDI doesn't drive up to 31 miles on electric alone.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Stylistically, I'm not sure how much of an improvement it is over my 2008 Touareg. But it does look highly refined, and I love the look of those lamps. And cutting the weight by almost 500 lbs is great...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Love it, angry, chiseled, still looks like a Touareg. headlights and interior are A+
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks too "golf", it makes the car look weak, not attractive for an SUV. The recent Audi Q7, Escallade or Cayenne are much better.

      • 4 Years Ago
      I wish the US received the 6-speed manual transmission. That added to the V6 TDi would be a very capable, vehicle with good economy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well, at least we know what the Tiguan refresh will look like. Hopefully they through in some Audi style l.e.d. lights around the headlights for that too. Oh, and a tdi would be nice as well in the smaller SUV.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Completely decimated the original Touareg's greatest asset: The flawlessly modern and well-designed interior.

      Now it looks like a generic euro on the outside and vw routan on the outside.

      Redeeming features: I like the way the seats are shaped, and build quality will probably be teutonically-flawless.
      Overall, not very impressed with the redesign.
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