Volkswagen has locked in the reveal date for its third-generation Touareg, which we'll straight up tell you isn't coming to the United States.
The covers will come off the new mid-size SUV on March 23 in Beijing, China. The formal debut will likely take place at the Beijing auto show scheduled for the following month.
In the lead up, VW has released a single teaser shot and confirmed the new Touareg will serve as the brand's flagship, at least until an electric successor to the ill-fated Phaeton arrives around the decade. It means that VW has likely scuttled plans for a new full-size SUV based on the T-Prime GTE concept, which were announced at the concept's unveiling in 2016.
But getting back to the new Touareg. The latest prototypes have been spotted wearing zero camouflage gear, which is typical when so close to the reveal date. The new design looks to have adopted a wider, more dynamic look than the outgoing model.
2018 Volkswagen Touareg spy shots - Image via SB-Medien
We also expect the new SUV to be lighter and feature a more upmarket interior compared to the one it replaces. VW has confirmed a digital instrument cluster, which the automaker is calling the Innovision Cockpit.
Underpinning the new Touareg is the SUV version of the Volkswagen Group’s flexible MLB platform, which is common to the Audi Q7, Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne. It means the VW will benefit from many of the features of its more premium siblings including air suspension, rear-wheel steering and roll stabilization. We're also expecting a suite of electronic driver aids.
As mentioned earlier, we won't be seeing the new Touareg in the U.S. VW’s local division has already dropped the current Touareg in order to focus on the sharper priced and locally made Atlas mid-size SUV. The 3-row Atlas starts at just over $30,000 whereas the 2-row Touareg in its final year was priced from $50,405, making it more expensive than an Audi Q7. The strategy didn’t work as VW sold just 1,630 Touaregs in the six months prior to it being dropped.
VW fans still desiring a mid-size SUV but not sold on the family-oriented Atlas can look forward to a new offering from the German automaker. A second SUV is confirmed for production at VW’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee and is believed to be a production version of 2015’s Cross Coupe GTE concept.