New Volkswagen Touareg Plug-in Hybrid Announced in China
After a 14 year stint, the Volkswagen Touareg has been discontinued in the U.S. (perhaps in part because of its abstruse name). While we mourn the loss of the midsize SUV in the states, it continues to live on in other parts of the world. In fact, a whole new generation of Touareg is making its debut overseas. An innovative, plug-in hybrid model (PHEV) is part of the forthcoming lineup.
VW reveals new Touareg in China
Volkswagen chose to unveil the latest Touareg in in China, the company's largest market. For technology buffs and environmentalists, the highlight of the show was news of a PHEV model. VW was tight-lipped about the new hybrid, except to say that its system will produce 270 kW. When the PHEV does come to fruition, it will be made available in China first.
But even without the plug-in hybrid powertrain, the new Touareg is the most advanced model to date. It boasts high-tech equipment, inside and out.
Upon initial release, the Touareg will be offered with two V6 diesel engine options. Shortly after, a gasoline V6 and a V8 turbodiesel will make their way to market. The eight-pot diesel will create a stout 664 lb-ft. All that torque is transferred to the wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission with a shift-by-wire selector.
Of course, the Touareg will be offered with the latest version of VW's 4MOTION all-wheel drive. This system uses a center differential lock with asymmetrically dynamic torque distribution. The experience is further enhanced by 4MOTION Active Control. This system allows the driver to fine-tune driving parameters, such as automatic transmission and steering system performance.
KITT would be jealous of the new Touareg and it's fully digital cockpit. Referred to by VW as Innovision, this new layout blends driver instrumentation with a touchscreen infotainment system. The result is one, very futuristic dashboard. Through the Innovision system, the driver can adjust the Touareg's assistance and comfort systems to their liking.
The new Touareg will also flaunt more driver assistance features than any VW to come before it. For example, it will be offered with Night Vision assistance, which uses thermal imaging to detect living creatures in the darkness. Plus, there will be functions like a head up display, Lane Keeping Assist and Cross Traffic Assist.
Larger dimensions, reduced weight
The Touareg is bigger than ever with more cargo space. Yet somehow, it's managed to shed a few pounds. A good deal of this can be attributed to its new mixed material construction (48% aluminum, 52% high-tech steel).
The United States says farewell to the Touareg
Volkswagen plans to expand its SUV lineup globally – especially in China. The company hopes to have 12 new SUV models for the Chinese market by 2020. Here in the United states though, we're left with only the Tiguan and Atlas, as the Touareg has been axed. Maybe if it had been updated earlier, like its stablemates, it could have stuck around. But that's not how things played out. So, we have to say farewell to the trusty Touareg – even if we never quite learned how to pronounce its name.
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