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Beijing show: SUV concept to preview next Touareg

Light fantastic: VW has not revealed too much about its imminent SUV concept, but the darkened images give hints as to the vehicle’s overall shape as well as exterior lighting design.

Volkswagen’s next-gen Touareg set to be plug-in and more interactive than ever


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18 Apr 2016

A TEASER shot of a concept that is likely to preview Volkswagen’s next-generation Touareg SUV has been released ahead of the vehicle’s unveiling at the Beijing motor show next week.

The plug-in hybrid full-size SUV is being aimed at the premium SUV segment but the concept car’s design is set to take the boxy Touareg design to a “new sporty and elegant level,” according to Volkswagen.

The teaser images ahead of Beijing – the same venue used by the German brand to unveil the facelifted current-gen Touareg in April 2014 – highlights more curves over the rear wheel arches and around the front guards, but it has not lost all of its squared off proportions.

VW is also claiming that the show car previews what will be one of the world’s most advanced SUVs, not only for the plug-in hybrid drivetrain but also its digitalised interior.

The cabin boasts new levels of digital interaction with the occupants, part of what the brand said is a “completely new range of interactivity” between the vehicle and its occupants.

While no images have been released of what VW describes as the &lsquo.”

relaxed living space” interior, the SUV concept boasts an “active info display and infotainment system” that is all combined under a sheet of transparent glass to become what the company is calling a Curved Interaction Area.

The SUV concept is fitted with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain that the brand said offers overall outputs of 280kW and 700Nm, although Volkswagen has not offered a breakdown of the figures between the electric drivetrain and internal combustion powerplant.

The system does offer an electric-only driving range of up to 50km and a fuel economy rating of less than 3.0 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.

In terms of performance, Volkswagen is claiming the concept car’s hybrid drivetrain can propel it from zero to 100km/h in six seconds and on to a top speed of 224km/h.

The arrival of a new Touareg in 2017 would be expected to revive sales of Volkswagen’s largest SUV, which have so far this year fallen behind its 2015 performance.

In a segment that has grown by 27.3 per cent so far this year with the arrival of Audi’s new Q7 and the Volvo XC90, the VW Touareg has fallen 7.6 per cent, selling 559 units to the end of March as it reaches the end of its model life.

It sold 935 units in its first full year on sale in 2004 and peaked at 2568 sales last year by comparison, segment leader BMW sold 4181 X5 SUVs last year and so far this year has sold 1078.

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