Volkswagen has just taken the wraps off its second-generation Touareg SUV that is slightly longer yet more than 200kg lighter than its predecessor and will be offered right from the beginning with a hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain.
Set for a Geneva Motor Show debut on March 2 with European sales to follow in April, the new 2011 Touareg shares most of its underpinnings with the forthcoming 2011 Porsche Cayenne. The designers kept the basic shape of the current model and added a new face that's inspired from the firm's latest production and concept models such as the Golf VI, Polo and the NCC study.
The new interior is also in line with Volkswagen's latest design DNA featuring several novelties including a pushbutton parking brake, and according to the Germans, the largest panoramic sunroof of all SUVs. The new Touareg is more spacious at the back and the rear bench now has 160mm in longitudinal adjustment with adjustable backrest angle.As an option, the rear seat can be electrically unlatched and folded down at the press of a button in which case, it frees up 1,642 litres of cargo space. Speaking of the interior, I find the combination of chrome and wood inserts rather untasteful and would prefer to have one type of furnishing instead.
At launch, the new Touareg will be available with three engines including two turbo diesels and a gasoline-electric hybrid, all of which are offered with a standard 8-speed automatic transmission.
The range kicks off with a 3.0-liter V6 TDI diesel that churns out 240HP and 405 lb-ft of torque. Next up is the 4.2-liter V8 TDI diesel with 335HP and a massive 590 lb-ft of torque.
The highlight of the range is the new hybrid model that's mates a 3.3-liter supercharged V6 TSI producing 330HP and 265 lb-ft of torque with a 46HP electric motor for a combined output of 376HP and 428 lb-ft. The Touareg Hybrid, which can be driven up to 50 km/h in purely electric mode, sprints from zero to 100km/h in 6.5 seconds and returns a combined consumption 8.2lt/100km.
More details will be released at the new Touareg's world premiere in Geneva.