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by Tim Beissmann

The all-new Volkswagen Touareg has been unveiled at the 2011 Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne.

The introduction of the new Touareg in Australia will happen in two waves this year, with the 2011 model year on sale now and 2012 model year vehicles arriving around August.

The new Volkswagen Touareg will be available in four different model variants: 150TDI, V6 TDI, V6 TDI 4XMOTION and V6 FSI.

The first three are powered by a 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine. The 150TDI produces 150kW of power and 400Nm of torque. The MY11 vehicle uses 7.6 litres/100km of fuel on the combined cycle, while the MY12 will use 7.2 litres/100km.

The MY11 V6 TDI models produce 176kW of power and 550Nm of torque, with combined cycle consumption of 7.6 litres/100km for the standard model and 7.7 litres/100km for the 4XMOTION. The MY12 variants both score an additional 4kW (for 180kW in total), while economy of both will improve to 7.4 litres/100km.

The final engine is a 3.6-litre V6 with 206kW of power and 360Nm of torque. Acceleration from 0-100km/h takes 7.8 seconds (the same as the V6 TDI), while combined cycle consumption is 10.1 litres/100km (down from 12.4 litres/100km in the previous model). There only mechanical change for the V6 FSI is a reduction in the compression ratio, down from 12.0:1 to 11.4:1.

All four models score ‘BlueMotion’ badges and employ start/stop engine functionality and brake energy recuperation for increased efficiency.

An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is all-wheel drive. The 4XMOTION model has a unique four-wheel drive setup with a more rugged transfer case, reduction gearing, and centre and rear differentials each with up to 100 per cent locking. 4XMOTION owners can select between five settings: On-road, Off-road, Low, Addition of centre differential lock, and Addition of rear differential lock.

The other change between MY11 and MY12 vehicles is the on-board camera system. In the MY11 Touareg, a rear view camera is standard on all models except the 150TDI, and the Area View system (which uses four cameras to provide a 360 degree exterior view) is a $2500 option. In the MY12 Touareg, the rear view camera is not offered standard, but the Area View system is still available optionally for the same price.

The new Touareg has a larger wheelbase, increasing rear-passenger legroom by 160mm. Luggage capacity has increased 580 litres (from 555 litres), and grows to 1642 litres with the rear seats folded forwards (up from 1570 litres).

Standard features include front and rear fog lights, chrome roof rails, 17/18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, optical parking system with navigation display, front and rear parking sensors, auto-dimming rear view mirror and leather upholstery.

The audio system includes USB connectivity and Bluetooth phone and audio streaming. The 150TDI gets a 6.5-inch touchscreen and includes six-CD changer and an SD card slot. All other models get an eight-inch touchscreen with 3D maps, voice control, 60GB hard drive, two SD cards and a single DVD drive.

All new Touareg models feature nine airbags (dual front, side, rear side, curtain and driver’s knee), and incorporate electronic stability control with active rollover protection, electronic differential lock, engine braking control, auto hold function, hill hold assist and hill descent assist.

2011/2012 Volkswagen Touareg manufacturer’s list prices (excluding government and dealer charges):

  • 150TDI – $62,990
  • V6 FSI – $77,990
  • V6 TDI – $77,990
  • V6 TDI 4XMOTION – $82,990

Major options:

  • Metallic/Pearl Effect paint – $1500
  • Panoramic sunroof – $3000
  • Air suspension system – $5900
  • Area view – $2500
  • Bi-xenon headlights with dynamic cornering and LED daytime running lights – $3500
  • Comfort package – $4500
  • Dynaudio Premium audio system – $2900
  • Satellite navigation system – $4900
  • Driver assistance package – $5400



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