New models - Volkswagen - Touareg
AIMS: New VW Touareg to start at $62,990
Volkswagen introduces bigger, lighter and greener new Touareg SUV
4 Jul 2011
VOLKSWAGEN Australia used this year’s Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne to announce local specification and pricing for its second-generation Touareg.
The luxury SUV range – which is bigger, lighter and more fuel-efficient than its predecessor – now kicks off from $62,990 for the new entry-level 150TDI variant.
This is $13,000 less than the previous model – which was limited to a single, 176kW 3.0-litre TDI V6-powered variant for about the last year of its life-cycle – that kicked off at $75,990.
The new Touareg’s engine line-up includes two 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 powertrains with different levels of tune and a 3.6-litre petrol V6.
Both the higher-tuned diesel and the petrol engines produce the same power and torque figures as in the previous generation, but the Touareg’s much lighter kerb weight, improved drag coefficient (down 0.3Cd to 0.38) and slick new eight-speed automatic gearbox have produced big improvements in fuel economy.
The new Touareg is also the latest vehicle in Volkswagen Australia’s line-up to feature the company’s fuel-saving ‘BlueMotion’ technology, coming after its addition to the newly facelifted Passat range and the hybrid-beating Golf BlueMotion variant.
The fuel-saving additions include an idle-stop system (called Start/Stop by VW), as well as regenerative braking and intelligent thermal management, which the company says enables a “faster, more targeted warming up of the engine and gearbox”.
As the name implies, the engine in the 150TDI produces 150kW of power and 400Nm of torque at 2000rpm, while the other TDI option offers the same 176kW/550Nm output as the previous model.
Both of the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 engines consume just 7.6 litres of fuel per 100km – 1.7L/100km better than the previous 176TDI. The 206kW/360Nm 3.6-litre V6 FDI petrol consumes 10.1L/100km of 95 RON premium unleaded – down 2.3L/100km over the old model.
Both the petrol V6 FSI and higher-tuned V6 TDI are priced from $77,990, with the flagship V6 TDI-powered 4XMOTION starting at $82,990.
The diesel engine line-up will be tweaked in all MY12 models – set to be introduced later this year to “satisfy market demand” – with the fuel consumption of the 150TDI falling by 0.4 to 7.2L/100km.
The more potent of the two 3.0-litre TDI engine options will jump from 176kW to 180kW, while fuel consumption will fall to 7.4L/100km.
All engines are mated to a new eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, with the two extra ratios over the previous model’s six-speed unit acting as overdrive gears.
The second-generation Touareg is bigger all-round than the old model, with a length of 4898mm (up 144mm), width of 1965mm (up 37mm) and a wheelbase of 2904mm (up 49mm).
Luggage capacity with the rear seat upright has been increased to 580 litres (up by 25 litres), while it can accommodate a claimed 1642 litres with the rear seats folded (up by 72 litres).
Despite being longer and wider than the previous-generation model, the new Touareg is also lighter – the TDI V6 variants tipping the scales at almost 90kg less than their predecessor.
Despite this weight reduction, Volkswagen claims the Touareg has the highest static body rigidity in the segment, benefiting comfort and crash behaviour.
In addition to a standard rollover sensor system, all models have nine airbags, including outer rear-seat passenger side protectors and a driver’s kneebag as well as the obligatory dual-front, side and curtain airbags.
The design of the new Touareg places it very much in-line with the plethora of other updated models in the Volkswagen range, with the now-familiar ‘letterbox’ horizontal grille.
The overall theme is certainly more evolution than revolution, however, with the new model bearing many of the design hallmarks of the first model. Volkswagen said it did this deliberately, to lend the model “timeless style and longevity”.
The roomier five-seat interior includes standard features such as dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors with dashboard display, Bluetooth connectivity and leather seating, while satellite navigation is standard on all models aside from the 150TDI, where it comes as a costly $4900 option.
Designed to handle rough terrain as well as city driving, most Touareg models come standard with the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system, with a Torsen limited-slip differential and an “Off-road Driving Programme” that can tune the ABS, hill descent assist and adjust the gearbox’s shift points.
The flagship turbo-diesel variant is offered with the 4XMOTION system, which adds a more rugged transfer case, reduction gearing and centre and rear differentials with 100 per cent locking on gradients of up to 45 degrees.
The 4XMOTION model also gets a bigger, 100-litre fuel tank (up from 85 litres) and a rotary switch to control the low-range gearing and other various off-road settings.
All models get a weight- and space-saving steel spare wheel.
The new Touareg is produced at VW’s Bratislava plant in the Slovak Republic, alongside the Audi Q7, Skoda Octavia and the Porsche Cayenne’s bodyshell.
The typically lengthy options list includes metallic pearl effect paint ($1500), panoramic sunroof ($3000), 20-inch alloys ($4900), Bi-xenon dynamic-cornering headlights ($3500) and an air suspension system ($5900).
The Driver Assistance Package ($5400) introduces a menagerie of active safety aids including Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist and emergency braking, Lane Assist, ProActive occupant protection system and radar-guided side and lane change assistance.
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