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by Matt Brogan

Today’s spy pics show an actual prototype of the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg.

The 2011 Touareg will go on a crash diet and be some 300 kilograms lighter! This should certainly help the Touareg’s less-than-stellar fuel economy and improve handling. Along with its weight loss, we’re also hearing the chassis has in fact been lengthened by a few centimetres for a more roomy interior and an optional third row of seats, though we expect that third row will probably amount to jump seats that fold flat.

Styling-wise, the Touareg will be somewhat more sporty and less utilitarian this time around. The most significant changes will appear in the front fascia, grille, headlights, rear fascia and taillights. A moderate update to the interior is likely in store as well.

2011_VW_Touareg_001

The Volkswagen SUV will continue to share a chassis with the next generation Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne. Powertrains should include updated versions of the 3.6-litre V6 and 4.2-litre V8 petrol motors along with one or two turbo diesel offerings. VW also hinted at a Hybrid Touareg at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. The Hybrid Touareg should sport a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 along with an electric motor that will sit between the transmission and the V6. The supercharged V6 is the same motor found in Audi’s new S4 and A6.

Our sources tell us the Touareg will be cheaper this time around. This probably means VW will strip out some of the luxury items and options from the lower end trims. Watch for the new Touareg to start production sometime in the second half of 2010 as a 2011 model year vehicle.




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