Volkswagen says their second generation 2011 Touareg combines cutting-edge German design, even more versatility and an increase of efficient power. And they are right. For 2011 the Touareg is available with three engines. A 3.0L V6 TSI supercharged hybrid, 3.0L V6 TDI clean diesel and a 3.6L V6 FSI gasoline engine are available. All are mated to an all new eight-speed transmission and 4MOTION all wheel drive system.
While the supercharged hybrid V6 is interesting, it is a performance oriented powertrain that is meant to replace the V8 engine of the previous generation, not a hi-miler. That remains the place of the diesel TDI model.
On the outside, Touareg gets all new sheet metal. Compared to its predecessor, the 2011 Touareg is wider and has a shorter overall height for a stronger presence. A longer wheelbase and greater length provide more room inside the cabin, while the use of new materials and other adjustments have removed approximately 350 pounds from the vehicle.
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-XenonTM 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.
The hood features a raised portion that runs from the grille back, finishing at the side mirrors and giving a more muscular appearance. A chrome accent strip carries from behind the front wheels, and runs
along the bottom of the doors to complement the chrome touches bordering the windows.
The back of the Touareg is defined with pronounced curves around the hatch area, new “L-Design” taillights, and a blacked out lower bumper with a set of shaped, chrome exhaust tips.
Another new design feature in the second generation Touareg is the automatically opening and closing tailgate that can be operated from inside the vehicle, at the tailgate itself or through a remote control on the fully redesigned key fob.
The Touareg TDI will be available in nine different colors including five new colors: Cool Silver Metallic, Flint Gray Metallic, Toffee Brown Metallic, and Night Blue Metallic.
The TDI Clean Diesel Touareg will be available in three different trims: “Sport,” “Lux” and “Executive.” Each trim will come with one of three different wheels. The “Sport” trim will have the 18″ Tacora alloy wheels, “Lux” trim will be equipped with 19″ Everest wheels and the “Executive” trim will come with 20″ Pikes Peak wheels
The 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 TDI Clean Diesel engine, will againi offer class leading fuel economy of 28 mph highway and 19 mpg city. A special DeNOx catalytic converter, augmented by a special injection system that sprays a synthetic urea-based solution (AdBlue) into the exhaust, helps reduce Nox emissions by up to 90 percent, and lets the engine meet the Tier 2, Bin 5/ULEV II standards imposed across all 50 U.S. states.
The engine is now paired with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission. 7th and 8th gears are laid out as fuel-efficient overdrive gears. The 8th gear reduces engine speed by 33 percent compared to 6th gear, which reduces fuel consumption and significantly lowers emissions.
The TDI provides an impressive maximum torque of 406 lbs.-ft. at 1,750 to 2,250 rpm while producing 225 horsepower at 3,500 to 4,000 rpm. With all that power, the 2011 Touareg has a towing capacity of 7,700 lbs. when equipped with the factory-installed tow package.
The Touareg’s interior has also been refined with a focus on comfort and functionality. Cabin noise has been reduced compared to the previous model through optimized insulation and acoustics. The greater use of curves and further attention to details on the door and dash trim coincide with redesigned, available leather seating surfaces 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 from a release in the luggage compartment, for more storage and convenience.
When looking up at the roof, drivers and passengers will enjoy the new optional panoramic sunroof which is a full 350% larger than the sunroof in the previous model. A ventilated, power release wind deflector eliminates turbulence and associated noise to help ensure a quiet drive even when the sunroof is open. The sunroof is standard in the “Lux”, “Executive” and “Hybrid” trim lines.
A 7″ display, located between the main gauges in the instrument cluster, provides the driver with the latest vehicle status information, including turn-by-turn navigation directions, information from the drive system in the hybrid model, and more.
Standard and found only in the Touareg is Volkswagen’s new premium RNS850 touch screen radio-navigation system. It features a large 8-inch screen, with a DVD/CD player that has MP3 playback capabilities and Satellite/FM/AM stereo, along with a 60GB hard drive with 18GB of space available to upload media. Located conveniently in the glovebox is access for iPod® or auxiliary input, SD cards, and a DVD drive. The navigation system can display maps and directions in a 3-D view, and highlights major landmarks to further assist when traveling.
In addition to navigation, the Touareg “Sport” comes standard with a multitude of premium interior features including navigation with rearview camera, BiXenonTM headlights with LED daytime running lights, an 18″ alloy wheel, power adjustable and heated front seats in V-Tex leatherette, Bluetooth connectivity, Sirius Satellite Radio, Climatronic dual-zone A/C and silver metallic interior inlays with a black high-gloss center console and trim surrounds.
In addition to the “Sport” features, the “Lux” trim features a 19″ alloy wheel, large two piece panoramic powered sunroof, 12-way power adjustable front seats and leather seating surfaces with driver memory, power lumbar and Burr Walnut interior inlays with a wood center console.
The “Executive” trim offers all Lux features along with a 20″ alloy wheel, heated multifunction steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, keyless entry system with push-button start, rearview camera with Park Distance Control (PDC) and a Dynaudio® premium sound system.
Underneath, the Touareg utilizes aluminum in its double wishbone suspension, which helped with reducing the weight of the vehicle. The vehicles 4MOTION all-wheel drive system is mated to a rear limited-slip Torsen differential. The pairing results in a 40:60 distribution of the propulsive force between the front and rear axles to improve the vehicles weight and efficiency while improving overall driving dynamics.
When we get a chance to drive one, we will bring you a full review.