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by Matt Brogan

Volkswagen’s new Touareg will be the most technically advanced VW the brand has ever produced. A new range of engines that are 20 per cent more fuel efficient as well as a variety of driver assistance and safety systems will be available. The Touareg will be the first hybrid SUV produced by a German manufacturer available in Europe, with the ability to be driven up to 50 km/h in electric only mode.

Volkswagen has put the Touareg on a diet and it has lost 208 kilograms in the base version, but the body has a five per cent greater torsional ridgity. The Touareg as the Volkswagen design DNA with a similar front end design as the Golf which results in a smaller frontal area which improves the Cd value. Other aerodynamic improvements were made as well as the reduced ground clearance all help reduce drag and improve fuel consumption. An eight speed automatic transmission which is a first in this market segment also helps to improve fuel consumption.

The all-wheel-drive system has also been modified to improve fuel consumption, the base version has “4Motion” with Torsen limited-slip differential. An off-road driving programme is available with the push of a button which tunes the ABS, EDS and ASR for off-road duty and activates Hill Descent Assist and changes the automatics gearshift points.

A “Terrain Tech Packet” is an option on the V6 TDI and is designed for off-road duty. A rotary switch with five options control the all-wheel drive system, (1 On-Road; 2 Off Road; 3 Low Range; 4 Centre Differential Lock and 5 Rear Differential Lock).

On the inside the Touareg has an improved cabin with more space. The rear seat has 160 mm of adjustment as well as an adjustable backrest. The back seat folds easily giving 1,642 litres of cargo space.

The park break is now the pushbutton type and the V6 engine has a Start-Stop system which shuts the engine down when stopped and starts up again when the brake pedal is released. The tailgate can be optioned with remote control operation which is integrated into the key. Up to nine air bags keep the occupants safe in the event of an accident, emergency braking also tensions the seatbelts as a precaution. Touareg’s new “Exclusive” badge adds more options, 19 inch alloy wheels, wood inserts and leather interior become available.




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