Volkswagen’s all-new Touareg holds a unique position in the Sport Utility Vehicle market – one that combines true off-road ability with German-engineered luxury. This premium entry has the styling, grace and high-level appointments of a prestige European and a mountain-goat’s tenacity to take on the roughest off-road terrain.
The Touareg will go on sale in the U.S. and Canada this summer and initially will come in two versions – one with a 3.2-liter, 220 horsepower V6 engine and the other with a 4.2-liter, 310 hp V8.
Touareg (pronounced “Tour-regg”) literally means “free folk” and is the name of a nomadic tribe from the Sahara. A proud people of the desert, the Touareg embody the ideal of man’s ability to triumph over the obstacles of a harsh terrain. To this day, they have maintained their strong character and self-reliance.
“The Volkswagen Touareg redefines the limits of mobility and expands the boundaries of freedom. It rewrites the story of what SUVs should be all about,” said Dr. Jens Neumann, Volkswagen AG’s member of the Board of Management in charge of North America.
Pricing will begin at $34,900 for the V6 model and $40,700 for the V8 model in the U.S. In Canada, the V6 base price is $52,000, and the V8 base price is $60,550.
The Design – Stylish, Yet Practical
Touareg’s exterior styling fits the very character of the vehicle – rugged, yet refined and practical, yet stylish. The vehicle is unmistakably a modern Volkswagen, with its smooth, arched surfaces and typical Volkswagen face and rear design with easily recognizable features and prominent badging. There is a strong family resemblance to Volkswagen’s newest luxury model, the Phaeton, which will be introduced later this year. Similarities include the arrow shaped transition of the doors and mud wings into the hood and gem-like headlight housings. Other luxury sedan details include turn signals integrated into exterior mirrors and eye-catching rear taillights.
Touareg’s high ground clearance, large wheels and the robust design of its wheel arches and bumpers give it a classic off-road SUV appearance. The V6 model Touareg has 17” wheels, and the V8 model has 18” wheels standard with 19” wheels optional. Touareg’s strong but elegant profile is accentuated by generously proportioned air intakes in the lower bumper area that deliberately contrast with the upper radiator grille that is styled like a modern Volkswagen passenger car. The powerful wheel arches and the broad swage above the sill achieve a similar effect, which contrasts with the smooth surfaces of the overall body.
New Body Structure for Static and Dynamic Rigidity
The Touareg’s body is a completely new, self-supporting construction and provides as much static and dynamic rigidity as possible. The body does not flex or twist, even in the most tortuous off-road driving conditions.
The body’s high dynamic torsional rigidity contributes to Touareg’s stability and driving comfort. The rock-solid chassis allows the doors, hood and tailgate to close without problems, even with the tightest gap tolerances. The body structure also provides optimum design for the running gear properties.
Touareg’s front mud wings are made of a flexible plastic material for added durability.
Bumpers are made of thermal-resistant, extremely rugged plastic that protects them from heat emanating from the engine compartment and exhaust panels, and they are flexible enough to protect against parking lot dings.
The aluminum hood reduces Touareg’s weight and provides optimum resistance to deformation in the event of an accident.
Touareg’s interior is luxurious. Genuine burled walnut wood trim is standard, with vavona or myrtle wood available on the V8. Interior metallics of chrome and brushed aluminum provide an atmosphere of understated elegance. There are 10 paintwork options, and leatherette seats are standard. Optional leather seats are available in both “cricket” and “smooth nappa” textures.
The center console provides quick, convenient access to various controls, including the gear shift selector, mirror adjustment switch and the switch for running gear and height adjustable self-leveling suspension. All controls are positioned ergonomically, in easy sight and reach of the driver, including a knob for dampening control.
The Touareg has plenty of space for five passengers and lots of cargo. Interior passenger volume is 99 cubic feet and cargo volume is 31 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 71 cubic feet when folded.
Other convenient stowage spaces include:
· Integrated storage compartment with a holder for a one-liter bottle in the central armrest and a large, illuminated stowage compartment
· Large, central storage compartment on the instrument panel
· Air-conditioned glove box
The large tailgate with an independently opening window guarantees optimum accessibility and convenience. The two-piece tailgate, opened by invisible spring absorber units, also offers a high degree of technical details and tactile luxury. The tailgate is unlocked electronically. An adjustable roof rack is standard.
Quiet Please – Luxury Vehicle at Work
Touareg’s acoustic body characteristics are at par with those of luxury sedans. Its “quiet” was designed in from the beginning of development. The body’s excellent acoustic restraint results from selective reinforcement of the panel surfaces and the use of highly efficient aluminum “sandwich” designs for damping. The interior is shielded from driving, wind and other noises by a three-part door seal system.
All Touareg glass is fitted with green heat reflective materials to maximize interior comfort. From the B-pillar, the rear windows are tinted to 35 percent including the window in the tailgate.
Outstanding Performance Off-Road and On
Touareg uses the proven electronically controlled 4XMOTION™ permanent four-wheel drive system that automatically switches power between axles to match driving conditions. A transfer case, equipped with off-road reduction, delivers engine power to the drive wheels via electronically controlled multi-plate differentials. With the optional rear differential lock, up to 100 percent of the torque can be used by any wheel that still has traction, providing outstanding off-road ability as well as the ability to easily navigate on the highway in rain, snow, sleet or ice.
The 4XMOTION system includes an adjustable multi-plate clutch of the center differential that is automatically controlled by the Differential Control Module. During normal operation, torque is distributed from the engine to the front and rear axles (on a 50/50% split) by the automatic transmission and center differential. The multi-plate center differential lock is allowed to disengage whenever the Differential Control Module determines a power differential between the front and rear axles is required.
Touareg’s Electronic Drive Train Management enables differential locks to be activated with the selector switch. In the “High” setting for on-road driving, the differential locks are engaged automatically, depending on the situation (e.g., icy roads).
When driving off-road in more demanding conditions, the “Low” setting can be engaged on the fly. This employs the off-road reduction stage. The differential locks react automatically.
4XMOTION provides smooth and worry-free operation on the road while also providing the power and torque management necessary for optimum off-road performance.
Touareg’s standard independent suspension contributes to the vehicle’s outstanding on-road and off-road capabilities through substantial clearances and approach/departure angles, allowing the vehicle to navigate very difficult terrain (see chart). This standard suspension offers class-leading handling in city and highway driving and for navigating steep inclines.
Touareg also is available with an air suspension, which includes Continuous Damping Control (CDC) that adapts the suspension to driving conditions and vehicle speed. The control system for the shock absorber damping regulator uses wheel acceleration sensors to monitor road conditions through vehicle movement. The damping characteristics of the individual shocks are adjusted according to the calculated damping requirement.
At high speeds the suspension automatically lowers the body level to improve control and wind resistance. This suspension can also be adjusted manually with the right rotary switch that controls whether the shock absorbers are primarily soft, firm or adjusted automatically.
Auto: Middle damper setting (standard)
Sport: Hard damper setting
Comfort: Soft damper setting
The air suspension will raise the body in two different stages to provide more ground clearance for off-road driving. These variable settings give Touareg an advantage in off-road situations by providing outstanding approach angles, departure angles and breakover angles to permit the vehicle to easily negotiate hills, rocks and other rugged terrain that many conventional SUVs cannot handle.
Touareg can drive at an offset (side or lateral inclination) angle of up to 70 percent (35°). In a standing position, Touareg can be at up to a 100 percent grade (45°).
Touareg also features a Hill Climb Assist function (delayed introduction) delthat prevents the vehicle from rolling back on a steep incline by locking the gearbox. Not only does it keep the vehicle steady, it makes it easier to accelerate up the hill from a standing stop.
Going down a steep hill is easier for Touareg because of Hill Descent Control. At speeds of less than 15 mph on a decline of 20 percent or more, this control automatically cuts engine torque to slow the vehicle and enhance engine control. If necessary, the brakes will be applied automatically.
Its 7,716-pound towing (braked) capacity for both the V6 and V8 models further enhances Touareg’s work-horse character.
New Double Wishbone Running Gear
Touareg has innovative running gear. The double wishbone construction of the front axle and four-link suspension of the rear axle – with acoustically insulated subframe – guarantees the noise and comfort level of a luxury sedan. Exact wheel guidance provides the driving precision of a sports car.
Touareg’s on-road performance is enhanced by its Traction Control System that prevents the drive wheels from spinning on snow or loose ground through intervention of the brake system or engine torque. Standard Electronic Brake Force Distribution adjusts brake pressure depending on how the vehicle is loaded. Standard Electronic Differential Lock makes it easier to drive away on surfaces with different friction by braking the spinning wheel. An Anti-lock Braking System is standard on Touareg.
Power to Spare
Touareg offers an impressive powertrain lineup for on-road and off-road driving. The standard engine is a 3.2L 24-valve V6 that produces 220 hp at 5400 revolutions per minute and 225 lbs. ft. of torque at 3200 rpm.
The V6 engine has two overhead camshafts, including continuous inlet and exhaust camshaft timing control as well as cylinder-selective knock control. The adjustment angles are 52 degrees for the intake camshaft and 22 degrees for the exhaust camshaft. Roller rocker fingers with hydraulic clearance compensation drive the valves. One individual ignition coil is used for each cylinder, and the crankshaft runs with seven bearings.
This engine has significant enhancements for off-road use. The oil pan is deeper and the oil pump and oil intake have been designed to ensure a sufficient flow of oil, regardless of the vehicle’s incline. The accessory belt drive has been designed for more belt-to-pulley contact to prevent the wheel belt from slipping when driving through water.
A 4.2L 40-valve V8 engine rated at 310 hp at 6200 rpm and 302 lbs. ft. of torque at 3000 rpm features a deeper oil pan and an oil drain and spraying tube to facilitate oil distribution in off-road situations. This engine qualifies Touareg as a Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) in the United States.
Touareg’s transmission is a six-speed automatic that offers reduced fuel consumption, reduced emissions and quieter operation than the similarly designed five-speed automatic.
The transmission includes the Tiptronic® system that allows manual-style shifting. The driver need only move the selector level to the right from the “D” position to change gear positions. Moving the selector up shifts up a gear, and moving it down shifts down a gear.
The selector level also includes a “Sport” setting that automatically selects gears according to a sporty shifting characteristic curve. The shift points occur at higher engine speeds, resulting in longer intervals in each gear and quicker acceleration.
A True Luxury Vehicle
Touareg’s luxury character begins with world-class dual-zone Climatronic™ air conditioning system with separate temperature levels for the right and left side. An available four-zone Climatronic provides two individual temperature, air flow and air distribution zones for the front as well as the rear passengers. Both systems feature residual heating function, activated charcoal dust and pollen filter, and an air-conditioned glove box.
Both systems feature 16 vents, including patented vents in the B-pillar to keep the windows fog-free in the winter and to reduce solar penetration in the summer. The systems deliver new standards for the class in terms of air volume heating and cooling capacity.
Top Quality Seating – Front and Rear
Touareg offers exceptionally comfortable front seating with standard eightway manual adjustment on the V6 and standard 12-way power adjustment on the V8. The 12-way power front seats are adjustable to longitudinal position, height, seat and backrest angle by means of buttons directly on the seat. Integrated lumbar support and electrically adjustable (up/down, front/back) controls conform the seat to the best anatomical, fatigue-free position. All front seats are heatable.
For the V6, a memory pack is available to save individual preferences for the driver’s seat and outside mirrors. An additional package option on the V8 adds memory for passenger seat, steering column and seat belt height adjustments.
All seats are fitted with three-point seat belts. The rear bench is split asymmetrically and can be folded in a 1:2 ratio. A ski sack in the rear center armrest is available on the V8.
Other Luxury Features
Touareg’s optional Navigational System provides route guidance via multifunction display and voice announcements, with no distraction for the driver. The system has a large high-resolution map on an easy-to-read screen and a compass display with position information in degrees, minutes and seconds.
Touareg’s Coming Home/Leaving Home function lights up the vehicle’s surroundings at night to safeguard the way home or out of the garage. Whenever the vehicle is unlocked, a sensor checks light conditions and, if they are below a defined daylight value, the headlights, rear lights, entry lights and surrounding lights in the exterior mirrors automatically turn on. It is possible to de-activate the function and to regulate the time when the lights turn off.
Touareg has an exceptionally long list of standard equipment, including:
· Driver and front passenger heatable comfort seats, fully reclining with height and angle adjustable head restraints
· Leather-wrapped steering wheel with multi-function controls (cruise control, audio functions, onboard computer functions)
· Height adjustable and telescoping steering column
· Ambient lighting
· Five power outlets
· Privacy glass
· Premium radio with CD player
· Trip computer
· Automatic headlights (coming and leaving home feature)
· Center locking differential
· 17-inch alloy wheels (V6), 18-inch alloy wheels (V8)
· Black roof rack
· Tire pressure monitoring system
· Trailer hitch preparation (wiring, bumper and ventilation)
· Auto dimming interior mirror
· Rain sensor
Touareg features a spacious 26.4-gallon fuel tank, providing a long cruising range between fill ups.
Touareg also has very strong safety features, beginning with the standard driver and front passenger air bags, as well as standard driver and front passenger side airbags. Touareg has standard Side Curtain Protection™ that includes “curtain airbags” for the front and rear passengers that cover the entire window area from the A-pillar to the C-pillar.
When any of the airbags deploy, a series of protective measures occur instantly. All doors automatically unlock, the battery terminal is disconnected from the alternator cable and the fuel supply is switched off. Warning lights are automatically switched on and all high-power electrical components are switched off by the load management system.
All seats, including the center rear seat, have three-point seat belts and head restraints. The driver and front passenger belts have force limiters that help ensure a proper fit in the event of an accident. The rear outboard passenger seat belts have electrically ignited belt tensioners, and there are belt-height adjustments on the B- and C- pillars.
Touareg offers a standard four-year/50,000-mile (whichever comes first) bumper-to-bumper warranty. The warranty covers wear-and-tear items and adjustments during the initial 12 months or 12,000 miles of ownership (whichever comes first).
In addition, Volkswagen offers a fully transferable powertrain warranty that covers five years or 60,000 miles. Volkswagen’s warranty plan also includes the added security of a four-year/50,000 mile, 24-hour roadside assistance program. Exceptional corrosion perforation coverage remains in effect for 12 years with no mileage limit.