There used to be a clearly distinct gap between similar Volkswagen and Audi products but, the new Touareg has closed that dramatically with two models on offer that fall just below the million threshold for the Luxury and a shade over for the Executive – placing it hot on the heels of the Audi Q7.
Volkswagen is unequivocal in stating the new flagship Touareg does take a top position in the premium SUV segment, pointing to it also being the most technologically advanced Volkswagen “of its era”.
Volkswagen is presenting the fully digitalised Innovision Cockpit for the first time in the new Touareg. Here the digital instruments (Digital Cockpit with 12-inch display) and the top Discover Premium infotainment system (with 15-inch display) merge to form a digital operating, information, communication and entertainment unit that hardly needs any conventional buttons or switches.
Drivers use the Innovision Cockpit to adapt the assistance, handling and comfort systems specifically to their personal tastes; the car becomes ‘their’ Touareg. This opens up a world in which the driver and on-board passengers no longer have to adapt to the car, rather the car adapts to them.
The Touareg is launching with the largest range of assistance, handling and comfort systems ever to be integrated into a Volkswagen. These include technologies such as the optional Night Vision assistance system as part of the Advanced Safety Package, Lane Assist and Side Assist with Night Vision and Head-up display that detects people and animals in the darkness via a thermal imaging camera, active 4-wheel steering and ‘IQ Light Matrix LED headlights’ (interactive, camera-based dipped and main beam headlight control).
Compared to its predecessor, the third generation Touareg is moderately wider and longer. The added exterior length leads to a significant increase in luggage capacity, from 697 to 810 litres (with the rear bench seat up). Despite its increased length and width, the car body is 106 kg lighter because of its mixed material construction of aluminium (48%) and high-tech steels (52%).
At launch, both models available locally are powered by the common rail turbo-diesel 3,0-litre TDI V6 engine offering 190 kW of power from 3 250 r/min and 600 Nm of torque from 2 250 r/min.
The design of the new Touareg is based on the modular longitudinal matrix (MLM) of the Volkswagen Group that includes models starting from the top mid-class with engines and gearboxes installed longitudinally.
Volkswagen head designer Klaus Bischoff says: “We wanted to create something with this front end that had never been seen before. We combined the chrome elements of the front end and the new LED light system of the Touareg so the transition between design and technology blended into a new entity.
“Innovative, expressive and impossible to imitate, this front end makes the new Touareg one of the most distinctive SUVs on the global market.”
Now more of a Sandton kerb-hopper than the more off-road dynamic of the original Touareg, Volkswagen says it can still master the dirt tracks with ease.
Bischoff says: “The sides of the Touareg body look like a stretched sail blown by a tailwind. Accentuated front wheel housings and well-formed rear shoulder edges highlight the superiority of the Touareg on any terrain. And this was the goal – to design the most superior SUV of its class. The opposing window lines and character lines at the side are stylish. And the roof line is striking. It seamlessly extends on the striking side line and dynamically concludes with the C-pillar that is angled towards the front.”
The rear end is dominated by the LED taillight clusters. They not only highlight the large total width of the Touareg but also the LED graphic of the front end with its L-shaped signature light.
The designers completely redesigned the vehicle interior of the Touareg and consistently customised it for the digital age. The majority of all buttons are integrated in the 15-inch (1,920 x 1,020 pixel) screen of the top infotainment system, ‘Discover Premium’, that is curved towards the driver.
This also includes the control of the 2-zone air conditioning system or the 4-zone air conditioning systemas well as the activation of seat heating and seat ventilation. I
Natural light comes in through the largest panoramic sliding roof Volkswagen has ever realised in the vehicle interior. The transparent roof section is 1 270 mm long and 825 mm wide (inner dimension). The front half of the roof can be continuously opened and electrically moved back by 495 mm and raised.
An electrically activated cloth roller blind reduces the sun rays. Panoramic glass sunroof is offered as a standard feature.
The LED headlights use a matrix made of light spots – individual LEDs that can be activated. The matrix of the dipped beam is made up of a printed circuit with 48 LEDs while the circuit board of the main beam is fitted with 27 LEDs. The LEDs in the dipped and main beam module are arranged similar to a chessboard.
There are various LEDs in addition to the total of 75 LEDs of the dipped and main beam. Including the surround lighting as well as the so-called signal functions (daytime running light and elevated side light as well as animated turn signal), there are a total of 128 LEDs per headlight. The Touareg therefore uses the power of a total of 256 LEDs in the various segments of the left and right headlights at the front to light the way.
This results in a range increase of more than 100 metres for the IQ Light Matrix LED headlights for the main beam.
As with pretty much all Volkswagen models these days the published price is for only the basic version and there is a long list of optional extras that can be added.
Price (VAT and emissions tax included)
3.0 V6 TDI 190kW (Luxury) R999 800
3.0 V6 TDI 190kW (Executive) R1 088 200
The new Touareg comes standard with a 5 year/100 000 km Maintenance Plan, 3 year/120 000 km warranty, 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and space saver spare wheel. Service Interval is 15 000 km.
|STANDARD FEATURES – LUXURY|
STANDARD FEATURES – Executive
(in addition to the features of the Luxury)
• R-Line Exterior: R-Line design front and rear bumpers with R-Line logo on radiator grille an side fenders, R-Line design on lower door parts, stainless steel load edge protection, chrome exhaust pipes integrated into bumper, chrome decorative trims on side windows, scuff plates in stainless steel with R-Line logo in front
• IQ Light Matrix LED headlights and LED Taillights with dynamic indicators
• White ambient lighting
• Black headliner
• Pedals in brushed stainless steel
• Centre console in gloss black/ silver
• Decorative inserts in Silver Wave
• R-Line ergoComfort seats in Vienna Leather trim with seat heating, 4-way adjustable lumbar support and rear centre armrest
• Leather wrapped R-Line multi-function sports steering wheel with shifting paddles
• Climatronic in front and multi-zone controls in the rear (4-zone)
• Headlamp washer system
• Dynamic Chassis Control with tyre pressure monitor system