Touareg loses weight and becomes more green

Volkswagen’s second generation Touareg has been unveiled and the new car has been on a diet, loosing no less than 200 kg. To help improve its green credentials the new Touareg is up to 20% more fuel efficient than its predecessor and there is also a hybrid version.

It may be significantly lighter but Volkswagen say that it remains as spacious and comfortable as the previous model. The new look is inspired, Volkswagen say, by the design of the Golf Mk VI, the new Volkswagen Polo and the Compact Coupe Concept.

Volkswagen Touareg

They say, with some justification judging from the first photos, that it is more distinctively Volkswagen and it also looks to have been designed to look less massive than its predecessor. The reality is that it has grown 40 mm longer, but the height is reduced by 20 mm. The width remains the same.

The standard equipment will include and eight-gear transmission and most models will have a stop-start system that will save fuel when stationary in traffic. Technology options include High Beam Assist, which will dip the headlights automatically when it senses oncoming traffic, Side Assist warns of vehicles in the driver’s blind spots, while adaptive roll compensation air suspension presumably does ‘what it says on the tin’.

For comfort in hot weather and soothing drivers on longer journeys the options include air-conditioned seats with built-in massage programme. Legroom in the back is increased, thanks to a sliding bench and reclining rear backrests.

The new Touareg Hybrid model marries a 3.3-litre supercharged V6 petrol engine and an electric motor. The conventional power unity deliver 333PS and 265 lb/ft of torque. The electric motor puts out 47 PS, giving a combined power of 380 PS and 428 lb/ft torque.

The electric motor can run on its own at speeds of up to 30 mph, resulting in no tailpipe emissions. With both power units working together the Touareg Hybrid can sprint from 0 to 62mph in 6.5 seconds.

The entry-level Touareg, which is expected to be the best-selling version, is the 3.0-litre V6 TDI. With a power output of 240 PS and 405 lb/ft of torque, Volkswagen claim it will return 38.1 mpg on the combined cycle emitting 195 g/km of CO2 to place it in VED band J.

Volkswagen Touareg

The top of the range is the new 4.2-litre TDI V8 engine producing 340 PS and 590 lb/ft of torque sits at the top of the new Touareg range. The combined figure for this model is 31 mpg with 239 g/km of CO2.

There will be four versions in the UK: SE, Altitude, Hybrid and Escape. The Escape model is aimed at those who may make greater use the off-road ability. Available with the V6 TDI engine, the Escape model features a system called 4XMOTION which comprises reduction gearing, centre and rear differentials that can each be fully locked for off-road applications and five stage control for the four wheel drive system.

Volkswagen Touareg interior

The first stage is for on-road applications, the second is for off-road use and activates automatic control for the mechanical differential locks, stage three engages the low-range gearbox with revised mapping of the gearbox to raise the shift points and switches off the automatic upshift in manual mode. Stage four applies the centre differential lock, stage five adds the rear differential lock.

Production of the new Touareg for the UK market starts in June before first deliveries commence in August. Prices and specifications will be announced nearer this time.
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