INTERNATIONAL. Europe’s largest car manufacturer, Volkswagen, has debuted its most technically innovative “VW” ever - the new Touareg - at a special “Touareg Late Night Show” broadcast live across the globe last night.
The new Touareg will be available to regional customers in mid-August, establishing the Middle East as one of the first markets to distribute the new era SUV with petrol engine.
The completely redeveloped flagship SUV – which unites the world of off-road vehicles with the comfortable dimensions of a luxury sedan and the dynamic attributes of a sports car - was unveiled at the world premiere last night in the presence of Volkswagen representatives and international world celebrities, including Qatari Volkswagen Motorsport rally champion, Nasser Al Attiyah.
Taking the multipurpose SUV concept into the future, the new Touareg boasts a range of engines that are nearly 20% more fuel efficient, with a large variety of new assistance and safety systems. The Touareg will also be the first and only SUV of European origin to be available in a hybrid version.
“The new Touareg sets a new benchmark for off-road capable SUVs with petrol engines, the Touareg Hybrid can be driven emissions free up to 50 km/h in purely electric mode,” said Stefan Mecha, Managing Director of Volkswagen Middle East.
“Available during the launch phase in two versions, the Touareg Hybrid and V6 TDI, the Touareg is now the most fuel efficient petrol and diesel SUV ever built in Europe in this large vehicle class,” added Mecha.
Lower, longer, lighter, sleeker and roomier than its predecessor, the new era Touareg has shed 208 kilograms, and has managed to attain 1,642 litres of cargo space despite its road hugging ride height and improved aerodynamic design.
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.
Similar to the first Touareg generation, this “4Motion” 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 optio¬n, 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 qu¬ality 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.