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Volkswagen has pulled the wraps off of its new flagship premium class SUV by launching the Touareg in South Africa. Worldwide sales of the previous two generations amount to nearly one million units. The Touareg, as comfortable as it is dynamic, is the most technically advanced Volkswagen of its era, according to the German automaker.

Equipped with connectivity for the modern era as well as a pioneering fusion of assist, comfort, light and infotainment systems, the all-rounder leads the way into the future. With the progressively designed Touareg, Volkswagen offers a model whose “Innovision Cockpit” is already providing the blueprint for the digital interior of tomorrow. The close integration of the assist systems bring a new level of safety and comfort; challenging situations like driving through narrow motorway construction sites are made easier using automatic driving functions if required. In parallel, new running gear systems such as 4-wheel steering provide a level of agility that sets standards in the Touareg segment. As one of the most technically and visually progressive SUVs of its time, the new Volkswagen has the potential to impress drivers of any type of luxury class model with an affinity for technology and design.

 Premiere of the Innovision Cockpit. Volkswagen is presenting the fully digitalised Innovision Cockpit for the first time in the new Touareg. Here the digital instruments (Digital Cockpit with 12″ display) and the top Discover Premium infotainment system (with 15″ display) merge to form a digital operating, information, communication and entertainment unit that hardly needs any conventional buttons or switches. With the Innovision Cockpit, the Touareg provides the blueprint for tomorrow’s digital interior today.

A focus on people. Drivers use the Innovision Cockpit to adapt the assistance, handling and comfort systems specifically to their personal tastes; the car becomes ‘their’ Touareg. This opens up a world in which the driver and on-board passengers no longer have to adapt to the car; rather the car adapts to them. Like a new smartphone, the Volkswagen is set up and tuned to personal needs and this is made possible by a new high level of connected systems and programmes controlled via digital interfaces and the multifunction steering wheel.

Fusion of new assistance, handling and comfort systems. The Touareg is launching with the largest range of assistance, handling and comfort systems ever to be integrated into a Volkswagen. These include technologies such as the optional Night Vision assistance system, part of the Advanced Safety Package: Lane Assist & Side Assist with Night Vision and Head-up display, detects people and animals in the darkness via a thermal imaging camera, active 4-wheel steering (makes the Touareg handle like a compact car) and ‘IQ.Light Matrix LED headlights’ (interactive, camera-based dipped and main beam headlight control). These systems are interconnected via a new central control unit working imperceptibly in the background and making travel safer, more convenient and more intuitive than ever.

New dimensions and reduced weight. Compared to its predecessor, the third generation Touareg is moderately wider and longer. The new dimensions have positive effects on both the vehicle’s proportions and the amount of interior space. The added exterior length leads, for example, to a significant increase in luggage capacity, from 697 to 810 litres (with the rear bench seat up). Despite its increased length and width, the car body is
106 kg lighter because of its mixed material construction of aluminium
(48%) and high-tech steels (52%).

V6 TDI delivering 190kW.  The 3.0 TDI V6 engine outputs 190 kW of power between 3,250 and 4,250 rpm. This common rail turbodiesel engine with
2,967 cm³ displacement develops a strong 600 Newton- metres torque from 2,250 rpm – 3,250 rpm.

EXTERIOR DESIGN

 Modular longitudinal matrix. The design of the new Touareg is based on the modular longitudinal matrix (MLM) of the Volkswagen Group. It includes models starting from the top mid-class with engines and gearboxes installed longitudinally. Compared to its predecessor, the third generation is moderately wider and longer, making it flatter. The new dimensions: 4,878 mm length (+77 mm), 1,984 mm width (+44 mm) and 1,702 mm height (-7 mm). The increase in length and width in conjunction with the slightly reduced height leads to significantly more dynamic proportions.

Alternative to the establishment. Volkswagen head designer Klaus Bischoff and his team transferred the design of the Touareg to a new time and dimension. Design and technology correspond perfectly. With the third generation Touareg, Volkswagen has refined the positioning of its flagship – an exclusive all-rounder that forms an alternative to the establishment with its pioneering, innovative technology, its versatility as well as its excellent comfort and dynamic properties. The expressive design of the Touareg reflects the new positioning.

Superior flagship. While the first generation SUV was characterised by a dominant off-road DNA, this direction increasingly changed from the second generation to the new Touareg towards a progressive, modern and exclusive all-rounder, but always still ready to master the dirt tracks of the planet and to reach any destination.

Front end. The expressive front end of the Touareg is particularly distinctive. The chromed solid grille appears to be machined from solid metal and seamlessly interwoven with the continuous lines of the signature light. Head Designer, Klaus Bischoff says: “We wanted to create something with this front end that had never been seen before. We combined the chrome elements of the front end and the new LED light system of the Touareg so that the transition between design and technology blended into a new entity. Innovative, expressive and impossible to imitate. This front end makes the new Touareg one of the most distinctive SUVs on the global market.“

Silhouette. The sides of the Touareg body look like a stretched sail blown by a tailwind. Accentuated front wheel housings and well-formed rear shoulder edges highlight the superiority of the Touareg on any terrain. And this was the goal – to design the most superior SUV of its class. The opposing window lines and character lines at the side are stylish. And the roof line is striking. It seamlessly extends on the striking side line and dynamically concludes with the C-pillar that is angled towards the front.

New range of rims. The increase in dynamics is also reflected in the new range of Touareg rims. Each rim design harmonises with the design of the silhouette. The size of the alloy wheels now starts at 18″ instead of 17″ and ends with the 21″ format. The wheels available include the 18 inch alloy wheels “Concordia”, the 19″ alloy wheels “Esperance”, the 20″ alloy wheels “Braga” and “Nevada” as well as the 21″ alloy wheel “Suzuka”.

Rear end. The wide shoulder above the rear wheels and the resulting indented greenhouse form a rear end with a strong presence. This superiority is emphasised by the LED taillight clusters. They not only highlight the large total width of the Touareg but also the LED graphic of the front end with its L-shaped signature light. The aesthetics of the shape is by no means detrimental to functionality. To the contrary, almost the entire width is filled out by the boot lid – but it can hardly be seen; what remains in your memory is therefore unique and solely the dynamics of the Touareg.

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INTERIOR

 “Innovision Cockpit” as the centre. The optional “Innovision Cockpit” celebrates its world première in the third generation Touareg. It is the control centre of a new era – an interactive interface for the Touareg where the information and settings of all essential comfort, assist and infotainment systems converge in one matrix. The interior designers completely redesigned the vehicle interior of the Touareg and consistently customised it for the digital age. The majority of all buttons are integrated in the 15″ (1,920 x 1,020 pixel) screen of the top infotainment system, “Discover Premium”, that is curved towards the driver. This also includes the control of the 2-zone air conditioning system or the 4-zone air conditioning system as well as the activation of seat heating and seat ventilation. Intuitive and frequently used switches such as the volume control have a deliberate analogue design (alternatively the volume can also be changed using a touch function on the screen of the infotainment system). The glass-covered display of the “Discover Premium“ to the side of the driver is visually connected to the “Digital Cockpit” that is also covered in glass – the 12-inch high resolution digital instruments
(1,920 x 720 pixel) of the Touareg. Both displays produce a consistent digital landscape in a one screen design on one viewing and operating axis. The “Innovision Cockpit” can be enhanced with an optional “head-up display” that virtually projects important information in the space in front of the driver on the windscreen. The “Innovision Cockpit” is a departure from the conventional – never before has a Volkswagen interior of this type been digitalised and extensively linked to the vehicle functions and outside world to such an extent.

“Digital Cockpit” in detail. The “Digital Cockpit” is a completely digitalised alternative to the standard analogue instruments of the Touareg and a central component of the “Innovision Cockpit”. The layout of the 1″ display can be personalised by the driver via the home screen or using the multifunction steering wheel. The layout as well as the type and range of displays can be varied depending on your taste. If less is preferred, it can be reduced to just the navigation or the media centre (as well as the digital speed and selector lever display), for example. The daily and total number of kilometres display is always active and remains at the same position at the bottom.

Different system displays can also be integrated in the “Digital Cockpit”:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
  • Cruise Control System
  • Speed Limiter
  • Front Assist (front assist monitoring system)
  • Night Vision (night vision system)
  • Driver Alert System
  • Tyre Monitoring System
  • Navigation System
  • Audio Functions

smetechguru, VW, Volkswagen, SUV, Touareg

Head-up display. The information of the head-up display (windshield head-up display) is projected directly onto the windscreen. The display is in the direct field of vision of the driver – they can therefore obtain all the main information without looking away from the road. The head-up display has a virtual screen size of 217 x 88 mm making it the largest display of this type offered by Volkswagen to date. The driver can vary the range of displays in the head-up display.
The following information can be shown:

  • Current driving speed
  • Speed limiter
  • Navigation information
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Lane Assist
  • Side Assist

Head-up display is part of an optional Advanced Safety Package which includes Lane Assist and Side Assist with Night Vision.

The highest level of comfort, quality and exclusivity. Regardless of how rough and demanding the onroad and offroad terrain of the new Touareg may sometimes be, the vehicle interior of the Volkswagen SUV always remains a luxurious comfort zone. The screens of the “Innovision Cockpit” with their glass covered surfaces as well as the aluminium and chrome details allow the extraordinarily high quality to be seen and felt. The individualisation of the interior is achieved with two trim lines: “Luxury” and “Executive”.

Largest Volkswagen panoramic sliding roof. Natural light comes in through the largest panoramic sliding roof that Volkswagen has ever realised in the vehicle interior. The transparent roof section is 1,270 mm long and 825 mm wide (inner dimension). The front half of the roof can be continuously opened and electrically moved back by 495 mm and raised. An electrically activated cloth roller blind reduces the sun rays. Panoramic glass sunroof is offered as a standard feature.

Ambient light in 30 colours. Night rides are now more pleasant thanks to a newly developed LED ambient light. Using the ambient light, the atmosphere on board the Touareg can also be personalised. Here, 30 light colours whose brightness can be continuously adjusted are available as an option.

An overview of the ambient light zones:

Standard:

  • Front and rear door openers
  • Front and rear door pullers
  • Glove compartment
  • Reading light and roof module
  • Footwell and luggage compartment
  • Door trays
  • Stowage area of the centre console and cup holder

Optional:

  • Indirect illumination – illuminated decorations in the dash panel and the door trim
  • Illuminated sill panel trim
  • Additional direct light line in the trim strips

“Discover Pro”  (standard navigation system). “Discover Pro” is the standard navigation system. The glass-covered TFT touchscreen of the radio navigation system is 9.2″ in size. As for the optional “Discover Premium”, “Discover Pro” also has a proximity sensor system and the innovative gesture control, usable 10GB memory, two SD card slots as well as a Bluetooth mobile phone interface. Smartphones can also be integrated and charged via two USB ports.

“Discover Premium”. At the centre of the “Innovision Cockpit” is the top infotainment system “Discover Premium” – a radio navigation system, telephone, information centre and interface for configuring various vehicle functions at the same time. A functional and visual highlight is the display that for the first time is designed as a curved sheet of glass. This is operated with “Discover Premium” equipped with a proximity sensor via the touchscreen and by means of gesture and voice control depending on the function. The equipment includes 10GB usable memory, two SD card slots, an AUX-IN socket, four USB ports as well as a Bluetooth mobile phone interface.

Personalised settings. Including those of the “Innovision Cockpit” and the “Head-up Display”, personal settings are saved in the vehicle system and automatically called up using the personal vehicle key. This is particularly practical when the Touareg has been driven with another key by a friend or family member. Alternatively, the settings can be activated when starting using a menu that opens automatically. A total of seven profiles of different drivers can be saved in the Touareg.

Optional Dynaudio sound system with 730 Watt output. The new Touareg is fitted with an 80 Watt power amplifier that is integrated in the central computer of the infotainment system. The sound is transmitted via four treble loudspeakers (two in the A-pillars, two in the front door panel) each with a 65 mm diameter as well as four 200 mm bass loudspeakers in the front and back doors. As an option there is a high-end sound system that was specifically tailored for use in the new Touareg together with Danish audio specialists Dynaudio. The system uses a Dolby 7.1 power amplifier with a power of 730 Watt to power a total of 12 loudspeakers.

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STANDARD AND OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT

Two trim lines. Two trim lines are available for the Touareg: Luxury and Executive. Luxury stands for a technical interior world dominated by metal and matching colours while the Executive has a sporty design.

Intelligent light functions. Various intelligent light functions from the electronics of the Touareg are activated using the 75 LEDs of the dipped and main beam as well as seven 75 front end LEDs (in five reflection chambers) and three cornering light LEDs. The corresponding computer uses the signals of the front camera, the digital card data of the navigation system, the GPS signals, the steering wheel angle as well as the current speed to precisely activate the individual LEDS for the best light in a split second. The driver switches on the main beam headlight via “Dynamic Light Assist”. The Touareg manages the rest itself – dim, turn up, city lighting, optimum highway light or offroad light. As the new matrix headlights operate with the highest light output, people, objects, other vehicles and animals are made visible that would be less recognisable and less visible earlier on with conventional headlight systems in night-time darkness. The increase in light output and optimised illumination is clearly noticeable.

An interesting point: The comparison between the very good xenon headlights of the predecessor and the new Touareg LED system results in a range increase of more than 100 metres for the “IQ.Light Matrix LED headlights” for the main beam. The interactive headlights already operate similar to those in a car with an autonomous driving mode. For example, the front camera registers brightly illuminated areas as “residential”. In this case the Touareg automatically switches from main beam to low beam.

Details of the light functions of the IQ.Light Matrix LED headlight:

City lighting: A particularly wide light beam with a focus on the sides; active up to 50 km/h.

Dipped headlight: Dipped beam with wide light distribution in the direction of the kerbside.

Side light: Permanent main beam on country roads without blinding other road users.

Highway dipped beam: Narrower light beam focussed on a wide reach for high speeds.

Highway light: Narrower light beam focussed on a wide reach for high speeds if no other road users are blinded.

Overtaking light: Precise main beam for overtaking procedures without blinding road users. The system recognises that the Touareg pulls out to the side. This side area is now illuminated more intensely.
Main beam: Manually activated main beam to deliberately use all 75 LEDs of the headlight for maximum illumination. In contrast to the highway light, the light beam is wider.
Poor weather light: Reduces blinding for the driver and other road users on wet roads. It is activated when the rain sensor detects rainfall. The annoying reflections of the headlight on the wet, reflective road surface directly in front of the driver are reduced by the “IQ.Light” reducing illumination intensity in this area.
Sign glare control: Precise suppression of the main beam on signs so that the reflected light of the headlight does not blind the driver.

Offroad light: A particularly powerful dipped beam focussed on the width to be able to recognise obstacles on terrain.

Spotlight (for “Night Vision”): Focussed illumination of people detected by “Night Vision” (infrared camera) without dazzling to make them easier to see for the driver.

LED taillight clusters. LED technology is also used for the taillight clusters. The design and the LED contours give the rear area a distinctive nightlight signature. Prominently visible in daytime and at night and equipped with signal effect: the brake light with distinctive changeover of the LED areas (”click-click effect”). The rear turn signals also have an animated design (”wiping”) in the Executive.

3.5 tonne maximum trailer weight and new towing bracket. The new Touareg is one of the few passenger cars designed for maximum trailer weights up to 3.5 tonne (braked, up to 12% gradient). Due to its running gear configuration, permanent all-wheel drive and high-torque V6 engine, the Touareg masters these trailer weight effortlessly. The towbar was newly developed and now offers a maximum level of comfort as the ball neck of the towing bracket is electrically retracted out and extended from the underbody with a press of a button. Thanks to the new system of the towing bracket, bicycle carriers for up to four instead of three bicycles can now be mounted.

Running gear systems – A new level of performance. Light aluminium for the running gear. The running gear of the new Touareg was largely newly developed to further perfect the comfort and dynamic properties. Volkswagen is once again offering a 4-Corner air suspension with electronic damping control for the Touareg as an option. It has been significantly enhanced. An all-wheel steering system that makes the large SUV agile and manoeuvrable similar to a compact SUV has also been newly developed. Generally five-link suspensions with a light aluminium/steel design are used.

An overview of the individual elements shows where aluminium is used for the axles.

The front axle consists of the following elements:

  • Shock absorber (dual tube shock absorber)
  • Steel springs (with linear characteristics)
  • Suspension struts (aluminium-cast construction)
  • Ball joints and transverse link/wheel bearing housing
  • Connecting rod, top level (aluminium-forged construction)
  • Wheel bearing housing (aluminium-forged construction)
  • Coupling rods (aluminium housing with rubber-metal bearings)
  • Guide link (aluminium-forged construction)
  • Cross brace in steel design (with bolted subframe)
  • Track control link (aluminium-forged construction)
  • Anti-roll bar

The rear axle consists of the following elements:

  • Top and bottom transverse link (steel construction; designed as aluminium-forged construction in the case of air suspension running gear and all-wheel steering system)
  • Shock absorber (dual tube shock absorber)
  • Steel springs (with linear characteristics)
  • Track guide (steel construction)
  • Coupling rods (aluminium-extrusions)
  • Subframe (steel construction)
  • Spring link (aluminium-extrusions)
  • Aerodynamic trim (attached to spring link)
  • Hub carrier (aluminium-cast frame)
  • Anti-roll bar

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All-wheel steering system. Another innovation on board the new Touareg is the optional all-wheel steering system. This is because all four wheels are driven at the same time depending on the driving situation. The all-wheel steering system helps the Touareg to be the most agile large SUV. The all-wheel steering system essentially affects two driving states: speeds below 37 km/h and speeds over 37 km/h. Up to 37 km/h, the rear wheels drive automatically at an opposing angle to the front wheels. As a result, agility and manoeuvrability is improved. Particularly when manoeuvring the turning circle, reduced by one metre from 12.19 m to 11.19 m with all-wheel steering, is noticeable. If the speed increases to more than 37 km/h, the rear wheels automatically drive in the same direction when steering in the same way as the front wheels. As a result, the driving behaviour is significantly smoother as the all-wheel steering stabilises the lane change – when overtaking quickly. The same applies for sudden evasive manoeuvres.

Enhanced 4-Corner air suspension. The new generation 4-Corner air suspension not only perfects the level of comfort, but also the aerodynamics and trips on rough terrain. The new open air suspension system operates quickly and silently and is insensitive to temperature and outside pressure fluctuations (as in the mountains). The air suspension is at the “Normal level” or “Comfort level” as standard. In addition a “Terrain level” increased by 25 mm and a “Special terrain level” by 70 mm are also available. At speeds from 120 km/h, the running gear is automatically lowered by 15 to 25 mm using the air suspension (deep level) to reduce the air resistance and adjust the driving behaviour. Last but not least, there is a “Load level” (minus 40 mm) available that simplifies loading and unloading the luggage compartment.

Air suspension optimises offroad parameters. The offroad parameters change depending on the suspension. The maximum climbing capability (60%) and transverse gradient (35⁰) are identical with steel and air suspension. The front and rear ramp angle increases with air suspension from 25⁰ to 31⁰. The breakover angle also increases from 18.5⁰ to 25⁰. As the ground clearance can be increased with air suspension, the maximum wading depth also increases (from 490 to 570 mm). The manually adjustable level of the air suspension is activated using rotary pushbutton switches in the centre console.

New Touareg retail price (VAT and emissions tax included)

3.0 V6 TDI 190 kW (Luxury)                                        R999 800

3.0 V6 TDI 190 kW (Executive)                                   R1 088 200

The new Touareg comes standard with a five year or 100 000 km Maintenance Plan, three year or 120 000 km warranty, 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and space saver spare wheel. Service Interval is 15 000 km.