All-new versions of Volkswagen's upmarket off-roader include a quick petrol-electric hybrid This is the all-new Volkswagen Touareg. As is the way with new cars it weighs less and will travel further per gallon than the model it’ll replace. But what’s unusual is how many pounds it has shed. Depending on model, it will beup to 200kgs lighter – that's close to the body weight of three adults.
It will also be up to 20% more fuel efficient. Volkswagen says that it builds on the comfort, refinement, off-road and towing ability that have characterised the current model since its launch in 2003.
The car’s new look closely follows Volkswagen’s ‘house’ style, as established by the Scirocco, Golf and Polo. This helps it cut through the air more cleanly than before, although the car keeps the short front and rear overhangs that are important for off-roading. It’s already a big vehicle but the new one grows a little longer. Its width stays as it is, while the height drops a little.
The car will feature an eight-speed auto transmission as standard as well as, on most models, start-stop technology to cut the engine while the car is stood waiting in traffic, saving fuel and reducing exhaust emissions. Touch-screen satellite navigation and leather seats also feature on all but the cheapest models.
The range will feature a hybrid model – a first for Volkswagen. This will combine a 3.3-litre supercharged V6 petrol producing 330bhp and an electric motor capable of 47bhp. This will enable this Touareg to travel using electric power alone at up to 30mph. The electric motor will also boost the off-roader accelerative power to sprint from rest to 62mph in 6.5secs. It will return up to 34mpg across a mixed diet of driving.
The range will also include a 3.0 V6 turbodiesel producing 238bhp and a 4.2 V8 turbobdiesel generating 337bhp. There will be four trim levels: SE, Altitude, Hybrid and Escape. The car will begin UK sale during August and VW will announce prices nearer that time.
Volkswagen's move coiincides with the announcement of BMW's new X5 and also a new version of the Porsche Cayenne.