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All-New 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Combines Stunning Design With Increased Power And Improved Fuel Efficiency - Web Exclusive

Sep 30, 2010 SHARE

The second generation all-new 2011 Volkswagen Touareg combines cutting-edge German design, even more versatility and an array of standard features, all while providing a combination of usability and world-class engineering that drivers and passengers have become familiar with in Volkswagen vehicles.

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The class changing 2011 Touareg offers three powertrain choices, including Volkswagen’s first-ever worldwide use of a hybrid engine. All three engines -- the 3.0L V6 TSI® supercharged hybrid, 3.0L V6 TDI® clean diesel and 3.6L V6 FSI® gasoline -- are mated to Volkswagen’s first eight-speed transmission, along with Volkswagen’s 4MOTION® all wheel drive system.

Supercharged Hybrid

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As Volkswagen’s first production hybrid electric vehicle, the all-new Touareg 3.0-liter supercharged, direct injection V6 gasoline engine is paired with a special electric motor that significantly reduces fuel consumption and emissions compared to the previous V8 FSI model. The electric motor is paired with a nickel metal-hydride battery pack fitted beneath the luggage compartment. The 288 volt battery consists of 240 individual cells and offers an energy density of 1.7 kWh. Both systems are capable of running independently or together and when combined, produce a total of 380 horsepower and 428 lbs.-ft. of torque. The new supercharged hybrid allows Touareg to offer customers V8 power with better fuel efficiency than a V6 engine.

The eight-speed automatic transmission ensures power is always available, while helping the Touareg Hybrid achieve an EPA estimated* 25 mpg during highway driving. When the driver releases the gas pedal, the engine will shut off while a special clutch disengages the transmission from the engine, allowing it to “coast” forward emission free without electric or combustion power to further aid in fuel savings.

Regenerative breaking also allows the electric motor to recover kinetic energy during coasting and braking to help recharge the nickel metal-hydride battery pack. Touareg Hybrid can drive up to 30 mph on pure electric power.

Another first for the Touareg hybrid is the standard Start-Stop system, which automatically stops the engine during idling, for example while waiting at a red light. In this system, the brake is the control mechanism and when activated, stops the engine. When the brake is released, the engine starts again. This function improves fuel economy and reduces emissions, especially during city driving conditions.

Exterior

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The exterior changes to the 2011 Touareg reflect the refinements under the hood. Compared to its predecessor, the 2011 Touareg is wider and has a shorter overall height for a stronger presence. A longer wheelbase and greater length provide more room inside the cabin, while the use of new materials and other adjustments have removed approximately 350 pounds from the vehicle. At the front is a narrower grille opening that seamlessly connects to the trapezoidal headlight housings that carry U-shaped LED running lights and Bi-XenonTM High Intensity Gas-Discharged headlamps. The housings flow into the new fender flares, and a pair of compact fog lamps at the lower portion of the front fascia stand underneath the Touareg’s front air intakes. The hood features a raised portion that runs from the grille back, finishing at the side mirrors and giving a more muscular appearance. A chrome accent strip carries from behind the front wheels, and runs along the bottom of the doors to complement the chrome touches bordering the windows.

The back of the Touareg is defined with pronounced curves around the hatch area, new “L-Design” taillights, and a blacked out lower bumper with a set of shaped, chrome exhaust tips.

Another new design feature in the second generation Touareg is the automatically opening and closing tailgate that can be operated from inside the vehicle, at the tailgate itself or through a remote control on the fully redesigned key fob.

The Touareg will be available in nine different colors including five new colors: Cool Silver Metallic, Flint Gray Metallic, Toffee Brown Metallic, Night Blue Metallic and Tungsten Silver Metallic (Hybrid only).

The V6 and TDI® Clean Diesel powertrains will be available in three different trims: “Sport,” “Lux” and “Executive.” Each trim will come with one of three different wheels. The “Sport” trim will have the 18” Tacora alloy wheels, “Lux” trim will be equipped with 19” Everest wheels and the “Executive” trim will come with 20” Pikes Peak wheels. The Hybrid will only come in one trim, with 19” Everest alloy wheels. All Touaregs will come standard with all-season tires.

Engine and Transmission

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In addition to the Volkswagen’s first Supercharged Touareg Hybrid, the vehicle is also available with a 3.0-liter turbochargedV6 TDI® Clean Diesel engine, which offers class leading fuel economy (28 MPG hwy/19 MPG city EPA estimates), greater power versus a similarly-sized gasoline engine and super-clean 50 state legal emissions. A special DeNOx catalytic converter, augmented by a special injection system that sprays a synthetic urea-based solution (AdBlue) into the exhaust, helps reduce Nox emissions by up to 90 percent, and lets the engine meet the Tier 2, Bin 5/ULEV II standards imposed across all 50 U.S. states.

A 3.6-liter V6 FSI® gasoline engine comes standard with the 2011 model, providing smooth acceleration and all around performance offering 23 MPG hwy/16 MPG city EPA estimates, which represents a combined 19% improvement over the previous model.

All Touareg models now come with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission. 7th and 8th gears are laid out as fuel-efficient overdrive gears. The 8th gear reduces engine speed by 33 percent compared to 6th gear, which reduces fuel consumption and significantly lowers emissions.

The Touareg will continue its tradition of providing superior high-torque performance. The V6 engine will provide the driver a maximum torque of 265 lbs.-ft. at 2,500 to 5,000 rpm while producing 280 horsepower at 6,200 rpm. The TDI provides an impressive maximum torque of 406 lbs.-ft. at 1,750 to 2,250 rpm while producing 225 horsepower at 3,500 to 4,000 rpm.

All Touareg models, regardless of the powertrain configuration, have a towing capacity of 7,700 lbs. when equipped with the factory-installed tow package.

Interior

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The Touareg’s interior has also been refined with a focus on comfort and functionality. Cabin noise has been reduced compared to the previous model through optimized insulation and acoustics. The greater use of curves and further attention to details on the door and dash trim coincide with redesigned, available leather seating surfaces for five, and cross-stitching on all panels and surfaces. Both the front and rear passengers can enjoy greater legroom with the Touareg’s new overall dimensions and fully adjustable seats, while the rear seatback can be folded from a release in the luggage compartment, for more storage and convenience.

When looking up at the roof, drivers and passengers will enjoy the new optional panoramic sunroof which is a full 350% larger than the sunroof in the previous model. A ventilated, power release wind deflector eliminates turbulence and associated noise to help ensure a quiet drive even when the sunroof is open. The sunroof is standard in the “Lux”, “Executive” and “Hybrid” trim lines.

A 7” display, located between the main gauges in the instrument cluster, provides the driver with the latest vehicle status information, including turn-by-turn navigation directions, information from the drive system in the hybrid model, and more.

Standard and found only in the Touareg is Volkswagen’s new premium RNS850 touch screen radio-navigation system. It features a large 8-inch screen, with a DVD/CD player that has MP3 playback capabilities and Satellite/FM/AM stereo, along with a 60GB hard drive with 18GB of space available to upload media. Located conveniently in the glovebox is access for iPod® or auxiliary input, SD cards, and a DVD drive. The navigation system can display maps and directions in a 3-D view, and highlights major landmarks to further assist when traveling.

In addition to navigation, the Touareg “Sport” comes standard with a multitude of premium interior features including navigation with rearview camera, BiXenonTM headlights with LED daytime running lights, an 18” alloy wheel, power adjustable and heated front seats in V-Tex leatherette, Bluetooth® connectivity, Sirius Satellite Radio®, Climatronic® dual-zone A/C and silver metallic interior inlays with a black high-gloss center console and trim surrounds.

In addition to the “Sport” features, the “Lux” trim features a 19” alloy wheel, large two piece panoramic powered sunroof, 12-way power adjustable front seats and leather seating surfaces with driver memory, power lumbar and Burr Walnut interior inlays with a wood center console.

The “Executive” trim offers all Lux features along with a 20” alloy wheel, heated multifunction steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, keyless entry system with push-button start, rearview camera with Park Distance Control (PDC) and a Dynaudio® premium sound system.

Chassis and Suspension

The design changes in the all-new 2011 Touareg resulted in a reduction of approximately 350 pounds, from the previous model, creating a more responsive and precise driving experience. The Touareg’s optimized running gear offers very good vibration control and ride comfort, a low roll angle, responsive handling and excellent dynamic stability.

The Touareg utilizes aluminum in its double wishbone suspension, which helped with reducing the weight of the vehicle. The vehicles 4MOTION® all-wheel drive system is mated to a rear limited-slip Torsen differential. The pairing results in a 40:60 distribution of the propulsive force between the front and rear axles to improve the vehicles weight and efficiency while improving overall driving dynamics.

The steering of the new Touareg is configured as a standard speed-dependent hydraulic rack steering system with variable ratio. The ratio is more directly configured across the entire steering stroke compared to the previous model. Active and Passive Safety

The 2011 Touareg contains an impressive number of standard active and passive safety features to help keep the driver and passengers safe. Six airbags, including dual front units (dual-stage for the driver, single stage for the front passenger), thorax units for the driver and front passenger and Side Curtain Protection® for the front and rear outboard passengers, all are standard on the Touareg. For the 2011 Touareg, Volkswagen developed an improved head restraint system. The whiplash-optimized head restraint (WOKS) rear impact protection system uses the contours and foam firmness in the backrest to help reduce relative movements of the torso and combines a patented shape of the head restraint structure to minimize head rotation after contact.

The Touareg also includes the following safety programs and management systems for a smooth, poised ride through most any situation: Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Auto-Hold and Hill Hold Assist and Volkswagen’s Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC).

The choice to include ESC standard on the Touareg and all other 2011 Volkswagen models, comes ahead of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) mandate that by the 2012 model year, all vehicles produced will need to include some form of Electronic Stability Control (ESC). According to NHTSA, having ESC in a vehicle results in 35 percent fewer single-vehicle crashes and 30 percent fewer single-vehicle fatalities in passenger cars. Volkswagen’s ESC compares the driver’s intended course with the vehicle’s actual direction. If a discrepancy is detected, ESC automatically brakes individual wheels and reduces engine power to help maintain directional control.

Roadside Assistance and Warranty

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For added convenience, the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg includes 24-hour Roadside Assistance (third party provider) for three years or 36,000 miles (whichever occurs first) as standard. Meanwhile, limited warranties found standard on all Touareg models are:

  • Five-year / 60,000 mile (whichever occurs first) Powertrain Limited Warranty
  • Three-year / 36,000 mile (whichever occurs first) New Vehicle Limited Warranty
  • 12-year unlimited distance Limited Warranty Against Corrosion Perforation

The Touareg, like the full line of 2011 Volkswagen models, is covered by the no-charge Carefree Maintenance Program. Under this program, all scheduled maintenance, as described in the vehicle’s maintenance booklet, is covered for the length of the New Vehicle Warranty – three years or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Additionally, the Touareg uses synthetic oil, which, when combined with state-of-the-art German engineering, eliminates the need for a 5,000 mile oil change, and allows owners to drive farther between scheduled oil changes.

* Fuel economy values for the hybrid are based on manufacturer’s preliminary testing and are not the official EPA fuel economy values. Fuel economy values are subject to change pending completion of the emission certification process and testing.

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