Volkswagen is launching its third generation Touareg in the Eastern Cape this week and the automaker says the new flagship takes a top position in the premium class SUV segment with its expressive design, its innovative operating, convenience, and safety systems, as well as the high quality of its materials and craftsmanship.
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.
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.
Wheels24's Sean Parker will be attending the launch, look out for his driving impression later this week.
New levels of safety and comfort
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-inch display) and the top Discover Premium infotainment system (with 15-inch 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 106kg lighter because of its mixed material construction of aluminium and high-tech steels.
V6 TDI delivering 190kW
The 3.0 TDI V6 engine outputs 190kW of power between 3 250 and 4 250rpm. This common rail turbodiesel engine with 2 967cm³ displacement develops a strong 600Nm of torque from 2 250rpm – 3 250rpm.
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 878mm length, 1 984mm width and 1 702mm height. 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.
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."
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 inches instead of 17-inches and ends with the 21-inch format.
The wheels available include the 18 inch alloy wheels “Concordia”, the 19-inch alloy wheels “Esperance”, the 20-inch alloy wheels “Braga” and “Nevada” as well as the 21-inch alloy wheel “Suzuka”.
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.
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-inch (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.
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
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 88mm 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
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 270mm long and 825mm wide (inner dimension). The front half of the roof can be continuously opened and electrically moved back by 495mm 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:
• 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
• 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-inch 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.
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.
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 65mm diameter as well as four 200mm bass loudspeakers in the front and back doors.
New Touareg Pricing (VAT and emissions tax included)
3.0 V6 TDI 190kW (Luxury) - R999 800
3.0 V6 TDI 190kW (Executive) - R1 088 200
The new Touareg comes standard with a 5 year or 100 000km Maintenance Plan, 3 year or 120 000km warranty, 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and space saver spare wheel. Service Interval is 15 000km.