The next VW Touareg.
As these exclusive pictures show, the big SUV has taken on a more aggressive look. However, it will be lighter and more efficient than the outgoing model. There are even plans for a hi-tech hybrid version.
Going on sale in 2010, the newcomer will face fierce competition from the latest BMW X5, Mercedes M-Class and Audi Q7. As a result, designers have given the Touareg bold styling that has been heavily influenced by the smaller VW Tiguan.
At the front are wraparound headlamps, a large grille and big bumper incorporating a sump guard. The rear has a distinctive kink in the C-pillar, while a split tailgate will allow owners to open the glass independently.
Inside, there will be more room thanks to a wheelbase that’s been stretched by 50mm. In order to compete with prestige rivals, the build and materials will be of the highest quality.
To improve economy, VW’s engineers have used plenty of aluminium in the structure to cut the SUV’s weight by 300kg. Under the hood will be a familiar engine line-up. Entry-level models will get a 276 bhp 3.2-litre V6 gas motor, while the range-topper has a 345 bhp 4.2-litre V8. For diesel fans, two V6 TDI units will be used, with 2.7 litres and 3.0 litres respectively. Finally, an Audi-sourced 4.0-litre V8 oil-burner will replace the existing 5.0-litre V10 engine. All versions will feature the six-speed Tiptronic gearbox.
Customers looking for greater fuel efficiency will have to wait until 2012 for a hybrid version. By combining a powerful electric motor and the 3.2-litre V6 petrol engine, it should be quick yet economical. A stop-start system and regenerative braking set-up will also help to improve returns.