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Beijing show: VW reveals tech-laden third-gen Touareg

Touar de force: The new Volkswagen Touareg will offer significantly better technology and luxury than its predecessor, according to the brand.

New Volkwagen Touareg to be a big step up over existing model, arriving in Q2 2019

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Volkswagen logo26 Mar 2018

VOLKSWAGEN has lifted the lid on its all-new third-generation Touareg large SUV, with the German manufacturer greatly increasing specification and technology on the new model ahead of its Australian arrival in the second quarter of 2019.

Revealed ahead of its public debut at the Beijing motor show, the new Touareg will offer enough equipment and luxury to go toe-to-toe against premium-badged competitors, according to Volkswagen Australia general manager of corporate communications Paul Pottinger.

“It is a full-on luxury SUV, it is not a quasi-luxury SUV ... this is a luxury prestige (model) and competes fully in that space,” he said.

“It really throws down the gauntlet to the established players there and I think it’s obviously a real step up from the current car, it goes way beyond the usual inter-generational change-up and I think we’re going to have a range all the way from Polo up to Touareg that are going to be the most sophisticated cars in their class at every level.”

As predicted, the styling of the new Touareg mirrors that of the T-Prime Concept GTE shown at the 2016 Beijing show, with a large grille featuring horizontal chrome slats that mesh into the large LED headlights.

According to Volkswagen, the new Touareg is “moderately” wider and longer than its predecessor, leading to an increase in luggage space from 697 litres to 810L with the seats up.

Despite its increase in size, weight has dropped by 106kg thanks to its lighter aluminium and steel architecture from its Volkswagen Group MLB platform.

Premiering on the new Touareg is Volkswagen’s Innovision cockpit, which teams a 12.0-inch digital cockpit instrument cluster with a massive 15.0-inch infotainment system for an extensive, uninterrupted display that minimises the need for buttons and draws inspiration from Mercedes-Benz’s similar screen set-up.

Volkswagen says the new system is highly customisable and can allow for drivers to tailor the information layout to their personal tastes.

According to the brand, the new Touareg will feature the largest range of assistance, handling and comfort systems ever integrated into a Volkswagen, including a thermal camera-operated night vision assistance system, roadwork lane assist, front cross-traffic assist, four-wheel steering, LED matrix headlights, new roll bar stabilisation and ahead-up display.

At launch Volkswagen will offer the Touareg with the same 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 in the current model, however it is unknown whether we will receive the 170kW or 210kW tune, or both.

A 310kW turbo-diesel V8 will also be added at launch or soon thereafter, while the 250kW turbo-petrol V6 is under consideration for Australia, as well as a 270kW plug-in hybrid – although Volkswagen Australia has no immediate plans to bring the hybrid powertrain Down Under.

The new Touareg replaces the ageing model that has been on sale in Australia since 2011, however despite its age, 1612 new registrations were recorded in 2017, enough for sixth in the $70,000-plus large SUV segment.

Sales have dropped 7.6 per cent in the first two months of 2018, with 232 sales recorded to the end of February.

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