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...with a hybrid option too? You can really see VW's new face in it. It has the same 2 wide bars grille as the Jetta concept coupe.

What's special about it?
The second-generation Touareg will become Volkswagen's first-ever showroom model to offer a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain when it is introduced to North America later this year. Unveiled at a gala presentation in Munich, Germany, on February 10, the new 2011 Volkswagen Touareg has been developed in a joint engineering program with the second-generation Porsche Cayenne. Both make their public premieres at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show.

Far from being a simple update of the first-generation model that has been on sale in the U.S. since 2002, the new Touareg has been thoroughly reengineered. It's part of a concerted effort by the German carmaker to make good on Chairman Martin Winterkorn's plan to significantly increase its North American market share and bolster sales in the U.S. to more than 800,000 annually by 2018.

Among the more significant changes is a decision to dump the Touareg's complex dual-range transfer case as standard equipment (instead it will be optional), a move that reduces the weight of this sport-utility by about 400 pounds. This move, in concert with a 5 percent improvement in the rigidity of the Touareg's steel body, has led VW to focus on the vehicle's on-road qualities.

Volkswagen brand design boss Klaus Bischoff has chosen an evolutionary approach for the styling of the second-generation Touareg, updating the themes established by the German carmaker's former design boss, Harmut Wartkuss. Much like other recently introduced Volkswagen models, the Touareg's steel body adopts an edgier look with tauter surfacing, more defined feature lines and squared-off wheel arches. The front is characterized by VW's latest corporate grille, while the rear updates the look of the old model with a large single-piece tailgate carrying distinctive LED-enhanced taillights.

At 189 inches long, 76 inches wide and 67.3 inches high, the Touareg has grown in length by 1.7 inches to accommodate its newly stretched 114.2-inch wheelbase while retaining the same width and height.

While seating remains restricted to five, Volkswagen says accommodation has been improved both up front and at the rear. In particular, the rear seat now has a range of 6.3 inches, improving rear-seat legroom. The rear-seat backrest can be adjusted into three positions. Trunk capacity is put at 20.5 cubic feet, and 58 cubic feet is available with the rear seat folded flat.

Four different engine choices are available, though not all of them will make it to the U.S. The direct-injection 3.0-liter V6 makes 280 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque, while the 3.0-liter turbodiesel makes 240 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. A new 4.2-liter V8 turbodiesel replaces the former 5.0-liter V10 turbodiesel and makes 340 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, but unfortunately it's not coming to America. In its place, Volkswagen is expected to offer U.S. buyers a revised version of the direct-injection 4.2-liter V8 with 366 hp and 328 lb-ft of torque.

The big news, however, centers on a new gasoline-electric drivetrain that Volkswagen has developed in cooperation with Porsche. The German carmaker's first-ever production hybrid uses an Audi-built supercharged 3.0-liter V6 supplemented by a battery-powered electric motor mounted within the transmission. Together they provide 380 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. (It uses a nickel-metal hydride battery.) VW claims the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid will accelerate to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 149 mph.

Like the Lexus RX 450h, the Touareg Hybrid can be propelled purely on electricity at speeds up to 31 mph, but only for short distances. To increase overall efficiency, Volkswagen's hybrid system decouples the gasoline engine from the gearbox on a trailing throttle at speeds up to 100 mph to reduce mechanical drag, a process the German carmaker's engineers describe as "sailing."

An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard equipment in place of the former six-speed, and it sends power to all four wheels via a Torsen-type drive system similar to that featured by the Audi Q7. As part of Volkswagen's effort to reduce the weight of its revised SUV, the more complex Haldex-built center differential with its fast-acting multiplate clutch, dual-range transfer case, and electronic locking differentials now will only be offered as part of an optional 4XMotion off-road package on selected models.

The 2011 Volkswagen Touareg will continue to be assembled at Volkswagen's Bratislava plant in Slovakia alongside the new second-generation Porsche Cayenne and existing Audi Q7 — the latter of which isn't scheduled to be replaced until 2014, according to highly placed officials in Wolfsburg.

Inside Line says: Volkswagen finally realizes that Americans don't need to drive across the red rocks of Moab, Utah, on the way to the grocery store. — Andreas Stahl, Correspondent
http://www.insideline.com/volkswagen/touareg/2011/2011-volkswagen-touareg-2010-geneva-auto-show.html









 

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The Touareg looks great except for the LED lights in the headlamp. They're becoming a little too much and too gaudy. I like BMW style angel eyes because it's not dots of light, it's a more or less solid ring. These look like they were tacked on aftermarket parts.

FYI, does this mean there will be a Porsche Cayenne TDI?
 

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Why did they ever have the Touareg have off road capability anyways? Good move by VW to lighten it by 400 lbs. I don't think it's fair to judge lighting until you see pictures though. The pics look heavily p-shopped or edited. Maybe it's just the picture compression that make them almost look like illustrations.
 
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