The Volkswagen Touareg has achieved only modest sales since its launch in 2003, mostly because of its lack of seven-seater capability and premium price tag compared with many of its Japanese rivals. The second-generation model is now in the works and will hopefully address many of the issues of the current version. Due to be launched sometime next year as a 2011 model, the new Touareg will be slightly smaller than the current one but will feature a range of more fuel efficient engines and be able to seat up to seven passengers.
The SUV’s new platform will be shared with the next-generation Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7 and will feature increased use of aluminum to keep weight down, possibly shedding as much as 400-pounds compared with the current model. It will also be slightly sportier and adopt styling influences from the more recent Tiguan SUV.
Previously, test-mules wearing the current Touareg’s sheet metal were spotted, revealing several key changes including a wider rear end and misaligned fuel filler cap. The front of the car also featured a different intake system, positioned lower than on the current model. Shots of the interior also revealed several major changes, including an all-new instrument cluster and a similar steering wheel to the unit found in the MkVI Golf.
As for the powertrains, the engine lineup for the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg is expected to start with a 280-horsepower 3.2-liter V-6 gasoline engine and top out with a 345-horsepower 4.2-liter gasoline V-8. A pair of turbodiesel engines will also be on offer including 2.7-liter and 3.0-liter units. All the engines will be matched with a six-speed automatic gearbox, though Volkswagen’s new seven-speed DSG may also be made available. About a year after the initial launch, a gasoline-electric hybrid model will be added to the lineup.
The 2011 Volkswagen Touareg is expected to make its world debut at January’s 2010 Detroit Auto Show.
High Gear Media has partnered with Tesla Motors on a new writing contest where YOU can win a tour and road test of the 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport. You can submit as many articles as you like and enter multiple times. Enter now!