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Revealed: The hi-tech all-new Volkswagen Touareg

By Paul Connolly

This is the all-new Volkswagen Touareg, the most advanced VW yet, and the pinnacle of its model range.

It’s the third generation of the venerable SUV, and it could be on our streets by the summer.

A petrol-electric hybrid model is planned, to sit alongside a range of more traditional V6 and powerful V8 engines.

The flagship vehicle is based on the group’s MLB platform, which is also used for the Audi Q7 (and which Bentley has adapted for its Bentayga luxury SUV).

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The all-new Volkswagen Touareg

The new car is 44mm wider and 77mm longer than the outgoing model, with a bigger boot now up 130 litres to 810 litres.

Despite its size, VW’s engineers have managed to get it to shed weight: it’s 106kg lighter, due largely to its mixed material construction of aluminium (48 per cent) and high-tech steels (52 per cent), and can therefore deliver increased fuel efficiency.

Volkswagen is presenting its fully digitalised Innovision Cockpit for the first time in the new Touareg.

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The all-new Volkswagen 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.

VW says the Touareg is launching with the largest range of assistance, handling and comfort systems ever to be integrated into a Volkswagen.

They include technologies such as the Night Vision assistance system (detects people and animals in darkness via a thermal imaging camera), Roadwork Lane Assist (semi-automated steering and lane keeping, accelerating and braking up to 60 km/h), Front Cross Traffic Assist (reacts to cross traffic in front of the Touareg), active all-wheel steering (said to make the Touareg handle like a compact car).

Also included is new roll stabilisation with electromechanically controlled anti-roll bars, 'IQ.Light – LED matrix headlights' (interactive, camera-based dipped and main beam headlight control) and a 'Windshield Head-up Display' projected directly onto the windscreen.

VW says the driver experiences these systems as a “single unit” in the new Touareg. They are “simply there” – interconnected via a new central control unit – working imperceptibly in the background and “making travel safer, more convenient and more intuitive than ever”.

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The all-new Volkswagen Touareg

In Europe, Volkswagen will initially offer two V6 diesel engines for the new 2018 Touareg with outputs of 170 kW / 231 PS and 210 kW / 286 PS.

This will also be followed by a V6 petrol engine (250 kW / 340 PS) and a V8 turbodiesel (310 kW / 421 PS).

VW fans hoping for the new plug-in hybrid will have to be patient, however.

Although the manufacturer has let it be known that the hybrid unit will have 270 kW / 367 PS of system power, it will be launched first in China, and no European launch date has yet been revealed.

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