Text: GG van Rooyen
The new Touareg is big. Its length has grown by 41mm and its width has increased by 12mm over the previous model, but overall weight has been reduced by over 200kg. And thanks to a redesigned front-end and a reduced height, it actually looks smaller and sportier than the previous model.
Under the bonnet, the thirsty old V10 oilburner has been chucked in favour of a 4.2 V8 TDI powerplant that creates 250 kW of power and 800 Nm of torque, but requires only 9,1 litres of diesel per 100km. This smaller engine still offers an impressive top speed of 242 km/h and acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in 5,8 seconds, but needs 2,8 litres less diesel per 100km than the V10.
Alongside the V8, a BlueMotion V6 TDI engine has also been introduced. This frugal engine offers 176 kW of power and 550 Nm of torque, but drinks a mere 7,4 litres every 100km.
Rounding off the range is a 3,6-litre petrol model that generates 206 kW of power and 360 Nm of torque. All three engines are shifted by a new eight-speed transmission. The seventh and eighth gears are laid out as fuel-efficient overdrive gears. The eighth gear reduces engine speed by 34 percent compared to sixth gear. And thanks to the new engines and transmission, fuel consumption has been reduced by a whopping 25 percent across the range.
All models boast VW’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system as standard. If you’re looking for something a bit more off-road oriented, however, the V6 TDI is available in a 4xMotion version that offers a locking centre differential, low-range gearing and slightly improved ground clearance.
Inside, the new Touareg is predictably luxurious. In fact, it is so plush that it might just coax a few drivers from their Range Rovers and Cayennes. New features include a CD-player with 6,5-inch touch screen, optional satellite navigation system and climate control.