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by Tim Beissmann

The updated Volkswagen Touareg will show off its refreshed styling and new technology when it debuts in Beijing this weekend.

Bi-xenon headlights feature as standard inside the Touareg’s reshaped headlamp clusters, which now connect from top to bottom with the edges of the new four-slat radiator grille.

The front bumper has also been reworked with deeper creases and more angular lower central and side intakes. A revised lower bumper section housing reshaped fog lights and an underbody protector panel sits beneath a new optional thin silver trim strip, which continues along the base of the doors and around to the rear bumper.


The changes are more subtle at the rear, where the premium large SUV gains new reflectors, a redesigned diffuser, a new Volkswagen badge and sharpened character line between the tail-lights, which can be optioned with LEDs.

New-design 18-, 19- and 20-inch complete the visual changes to the exterior, while less obvious tweaks, including aerodynamic improvements (such as new front air inlet openings and modified mirror caps) and low rolling-resistance tyres, help reduce claimed fuel consumption by up to six per cent.

The cabin gains new aluminium rotary knobs, additional chrome accents, white illumination (replaces red), and manual lumbar support adjustment for entry-grade variants.

Two new leather colours, Bonanza Brown (dark brown) and St Tropez (light sand hue), join two additional wood accents, Sapelli Mahagoni and Engineered Ebony.


Standard across the range is a coasting function, which allows the engine to decouple from the eight-speed automatic transmission to utilise the car’s kinetic energy on downhill sections of road and in driving conditions when acceleration is not needed.

The standard steel-spring suspension has been retuned in the pursuit of greater comfort and increased steering rigidity. Air suspension continues to be available as an option.

All new Touareg TDI V6 variants will come equipped with an automatic post-collision braking system, designed to help prevent secondary collisions in the event of a crash. The model’s adaptive cruise control system with front assist and city emergency braking now also features a ‘stop-and-go’ function.

A new ‘mobile online services’ feature will join the updated range later this year, introducing Google Street View, Google Earth and Google points of interest searches, as well as access to online traffic information.

The updated Volkswagen Touareg will debut before the public at the Beijing auto show on April 20, before going on sale in Europe in that market’s summer (from June). It’s expected to reach Australian showrooms either late this year or early in 2015.