The Touareg luxury off-road model from Volkswagen had its world premiere today at the Paris Motor Show. Dr. Bernd Pischetsrieder, Volkswagen AG's CEO, and Prof. Wilfried Bockelmann, Member of the Volkswagen Brand Board of Management for the Technical Development Division unveiled the new model at 12.15 in the presence of many international media representatives.
In Dr. Pischetsrieder's words: "The Touareg gives Volkswagen access to a new high-growth segment and once again confirms the company's immense automotive know-how."
The Touareg will have its North American introduction at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this coming January and will be in dealers 2nd Quarter of 2003. Pricing in the U.S. is expected to start around $35,000. Click here for our initial drive impressions of the Touareg. Below follows the VWAG Press Release:
The Touareg will be introduced to the German market in the autumn of this year and in the North American market 2nd quarter of 2003. Following the debuts of the Passat W8 and the Phaeton, the third phase of Volkswagen's luxury-class product offensive has begun. Both visually and technically, the Touareg represents a vehicle concept which blazes new trails at the high end of the SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) market. Unlike the familiar vehicles of this segment, it combines the features of a high-quality off-road vehicle with the comfort of a luxury sedan and dynamic attributes of a sports car in a new vehicle philosophy.
The Touareg's introduction to the market is starting with a 3.2-litre V6 petrol engine and a 5-litre V10 TDI. The V6 engine achieves 162 kW / 220 hp and develops up to 305 Nm torque.One of the world's most fascinating diesel engines is available with the new V10 TDI. It achieves 230 kW / 313 hp and develops an impressive 750 Nm torque at 2000 rpm. Two other new engines will follow:a 2.5-litre, 5-cylinder TDI and a 4.2-litre V8 petrol engine.
Four-wheel drive with three differentials and central differential lock as standard
The Touareg is shifted with a six-speed gearbox, either manual or newly designed automatic depending on the engine. Power flows to the continuous 4XMOTION four-wheel drive via a transfer gearbox - whose standard features include switchable off-road reduction - and a front-axle, rear-axle and central differential.All Touaregs come with central differential lock and offer rear-axle differential lock as an option. The running gear electronic system automatically triggers the multi-disc clutch of the central differential lock. In normal, even drive and road conditions, the power distribution is 50:50. But depending on the driving situation, up to 100% of the drive force can be transferred to one of the two axles. The driver can completely activate the locks manually using a rotary switch in the cockpit. An electronic differential lock acting on all four wheels (four-wheel EDL) supports the fine distribution of the drive force.
The Touareg offers a new dimension of comfort in the off-road vehicle segment
Innovations even to the running gear: The dual-wishbone construction of the front and rear axles with acoustically insulated subframe guarantees the noise and comfort level of a luxury sedan and, with the exact wheel guidance, the driving precision of a sports car. In the premium model, the Touareg V10 TDI, a CDC (Continuous Damping Control) air suspension with continuous Skyhook damping control insures a degree of driving comfort - both on- and off-road - previously unachieved by off-road vehicles.
Perfection down to the details: When starting up an incline, a hill-starting assistant in the Touareg versions with manual gearbox provides support by holding the vehicle in position. Once the driver then engages the clutch, the braking force is successively reduced until the Touareg is securely in motion. On steeply declining grades, the engine/braking-torque support in the ESP system prevents undesirable vehicle acceleration.
But the Touareg's commanding climbing capability is not its only mark of off-road excellence. Its maximum lateral inclination up to 100% / 45º (static). With door seals designed to keep water out, waterproof headlights and connectors, a special guide for the intake air and engine ventilation, and sealed jointed shafts, the Touareg can easily ford depths up to 500 mm/19.7 inches (580 mm/23 inches with air suspension).
The ramp angle for driving over a crest is 22º (air suspension: 27.2º). Thanks to the short front and rear body overhangs, the angle of slope is 28º (air suspension: 33.2º). And even the defining measurement of off-road performance, the ground clearance, promises commanding off-road handling at 237 mm/9.3 inches (air suspension: up to 300 mm/11.8 inches).
Functionality and stylistic elegance distinguish the spacious interior
The interior space and comfort are also first class. On the one hand, the Touareg interior is a prime example of well-designed functionality. On the other, it realizes an ambience whose elegance and contemporary styling used to be available only in the most luxurious sedans. As first introduced for the Phaeton, the Touareg is optionally available with a four-zone Climatronic, which even enables individual left and right climate control in the rear set. Another Touareg option is the keyless-access system (standard feature of the V10 TDI). With it, the driver always keeps the key - equipped with a transponder - in their pocket. The Touareg recognizes its driver via the transponder, releases the door when the driver touches the handle, and starts with the push of a button. A roomy interior and 555-litre/19.6 cubic feet boot space (V6) also make the Touareg the ideal holiday vehicle for five travelers.
The Touareg's design is just as innovative as its technology. Typical design elements of an SUV unite with a character which on the one hand emphasizes the relationship to the Phaeton. On the other, the design reflects the strength and robustness of a large, powerful off-road vehicle. The design of the interior corresponds to this concept. Here, too, the synthesis of robust dimensions and elegant details creates a contemporarily luxurious ambience reminiscent of a luxury sedan rather than a conventional off-road vehicle.
Its my next car!!! Will go nice next to my dad's next car, the Phaeton.