Volkswagen has unveiled its second generation Touareg SUV with three available engines for America. These include a V6 FSI gasoline engine, a V6 TDI Clean Diesel engine, and a V6 TSI gasoline hybrid engine.
Volkswagen’s 3.0-liter, V6 TDI Clean Diesel engine is essentially a carry-over engine but will now be mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The combination offers improved fuel economy, reduced emissions, and greater power versus a similarly-sized gasoline engine, and is an excellent complement to the new Touareg’s athletic design.
While the overall look and the drive train seems to be the same, the reality is that this is a brand new design for Touareg from the ground up. While keeping an evolutionary design the exterior embraces the brand’s new face and styling cues. At the front is a narrower grille opening that seamlessly connects to the trapezoidal headlight housings that carry U-shaped LED running lights and Bi-Xenon High Intensity Gas-Discharged headlamps. The housings flow into the new fender flares, and a pair of compact fog lamps at the lower portion of the front fascia stand underneath the Touareg’s front air intakes.
Underneath is an all new platform that has a 1.5” longer wheelbase. And the biggest news of the day is that the new 2011 Touared weighs 450 lbs less than the outgoing model. This will pay huge dividends in handling and efficiency. We haven’t driven one yet, but one thing we remember well from our drives in the first generation was that it felt heavy in every respect of driving dynamics.
The Touareg’s interior has also been refined, making for a better use of space for both the driver and passengers, as well as in the cargo area. The greater use of curves and further attention to details on the door and dash trim coincide with redesigned, full leather seating for five, and cross-stitching on all panels and surfaces. Both the front and rear passengers can enjoy greater legroom with the Touareg’s new overall dimensions and fully adjustable seats, while the rear seatback can be folded at the touch of a button in the trunk, for more storage and convenience.
A seven-inch widescreen color display located between the main gauges in the dash provides the driver with the latest vehicle status information, including of the drive system in the hybrid model, turn-by-turn navigation directions, and more.
VW has not provided us any figures on how efficient the new 2011 Touareg TDI will be, we can only suggest that there should be a significant improvement over the current model’s 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. This is at the very least due in part to its substantially lower curb weight going forward. No word on whether the engine will have more power than the 2010 model’s 210hp and 402 lbs of torque.