The most technologically advanced Volkswagen has arrived, complete with a 15-inch touchscreen.
[UPDATE, April 25] Live images from the Beijing Motor Show have been added at the beginning of the gallery, below.
After a painstakingly long teaser campaign and a plethora of spy shots, the completely new Volkswagen Touareg has finally been revealed as the tech-laden SUV you won’t be able to buy in the United States. For the markets where the third generation will be available – including Europe where it’s going to serve as the company’s flagship – the 2019 Touareg will try to lure in buyers by setting the bar higher for near-premium SUVs.
Find out more about the new Touareg:
The lesser member of the MLB Evo-based SUV family, which includes the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, and the Lamborghini Urus, the revamped Touareg has grown in size to provide more space inside the cabin. It’s 77 millimeters / 3 inches longer (at 4,878 mm / 192 inches), 44 mm / 1.7 inches wider (at 1,984 mm / 78 inches), and sits 7 mm lower (at 1,702 mm / 67 inches). The bigger size is paying dividends in terms of the trunk’s capacity, up from 697 (24.6 cubic feet) to 810 liters (28.6 cu. ft.) with the rear seats in place.
Even though its footprint has increased, switching to new underpinnings has slashed a significant 106 kilograms (234 pounds) thanks to a mix of materials consisting of aluminum (48 percent) and what VW describes as being “high-tech steels” (52 percent).
When it comes to styling, the new Touareg adopts a completely redesigned front fascia mirroring the appearance of the Arteon with the headlights “connected” to the grille. The new look lends the posh SUV a somewhat bold and imposing presence that makes it stand out from the growing crop of high-riding VWs.
Those aren’t any ordinary full-LED headlights as they’re of the matrix type and are billed as being one of the most advanced in the business. There are no fewer than 128 LEDs per headlight that can be individually activated and VW is confident to say these are powerful enough “to make night-time bright as day.”
The back of the vehicle hasn’t gone through the same level of changes as the front fascia considering it’s more of an evolution rather than a revolution compared to the outgoing Touareg. As it’s the case with the aforementioned Arteon, the model’s name is prominently featured in the center of the trunk lid and is flanked by the LED taillights.
Moving on to the side profile, the first thing you’ll probably notice will be the upper character line running above the door handles from front to back. There’s also a tiny fixed glass area near the A-pillars to further emphasize the Touareg’s increased proportions. Even the base model will get 18-inch wheels, up by a size compared to the previous generation, while the high-end versions are going to ride on massive 21-inch alloys.
While the exterior might not blow you away, the interior is where the magic has happened. The upper-spec versions of the 2019 Touareg will combine a fully digital 12-inch instrument cluster with a massive 15-inch touchscreen making its debut on a production model from Wolfsburg. VW had to move the air vents very low on the center console to make room for the gigantic display, which you can imagine will incorporate the vast majority of the functions since there are very few physical controls.
If you’re a fan of tech-heavy SUVs, you’ll love the Touareg. It has everything from all-wheel steering to a night vision system. Many of these goodies will come at an additional cost, including four-corner air suspension (with electronic damping control), massaging and ventilated front seats, four-zone air conditioning, a 730-watt, 14-speaker Dynaudio sound system, and the biggest panoramic sliding roof you’ll find in a VW.
As for engines, the 2019 Touareg will be launched in Europe with a pair of turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 diesels rated at 231 horsepower (170 kilowatts) and 286 hp (210 kW). Later this fall, a gasoline-fed V6 will join the lineup with 340 hp (250 kW) on tap. Sitting on top of the range will eventually be a beefier 4.0-liter V8 diesel with 421 hp (310 kW) and probably a mountain-moving amount of torque. China will get a thrifty plug-in hybrid powertrain with a combined output of 367 hp (270 kW), which is also bound to hit the European market at a yet undisclosed date.
The third-gen Touareg has some big shoes to fill considering combined sales of its predecessors have reached close to one million units. VW is moving the large SUV further upmarket by cramming every possible tech the VW core brand has to offer at the moment, much like it did with the Phaeton back in the day.
Live Photos: Automarket.ro, VW