2011 Volkswagen Touareg Features More Room, Better Fuel Economy

We first saw the all-new 2011 Volkswagen Touareg at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, but at that time, the manufacturer offered few details of the forthcoming U.S.-spec version. As the new Touareg inches closer to launch, VW has provided details on the model we can expect in the United States this November.

The first-generation Touareg debuted in the United States eight years ago, and featured a variety of different powertrain options. Now entering its second generation, VW has pared down the offerings and will offer a trio of engine choices and three trim levels. All 2011 Touareg models also return improved fuel economy, having lost over 400 pounds over the prior model.

Standard on the 2011 Touareg is VW's gasoline 3.6-liter V-6, which produces 280 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque and returns 16 city and 23 highway mpg, an improvement over the outgoing model's 14/19 city/highway mpg. The turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V-6 will be the powertrain of choice for the economy-minded shopper, however, with 225 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque on tap and 19 city and 28 highway mpg.

For the first time, Volkswagen will offer a hybrid Touareg, which shares the same supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 hybrid as its upscale cousin, the Porsche Cayenne. Working together or independently, the gasoline engine and electric motor produce a total of 380 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque, with highway fuel economy estimated at 25 mpg. The hybrid features stop-start technology, regenerative braking, a clutch-disengaging mechanism during coasting, and can run at up to 30 mph on battery power alone. All three engine options come standard with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed transmission, and are capable of towing up to 7700 pounds when equipped with the optional towing package.

The upgraded interior retains a familiar feeling to the outgoing Touareg's, but is more spacious thanks to wider and longer overall dimensions. Located in the instrument panel, a large seven-inch information screen provides vehicle and navigation information. All Touareg models will have a lengthy list of standard technology and luxury conveniences: A larger eight-inch touch-screen navigation system, packaged with a rear-view camera, DVD player, 60 GB hard drive, and iPod connectivity, as well as heated seats, Bluetooth connectivity, and dual-zone climate control are only the tip of the iceberg.

The base trim is referred to as Sport, and the second-tier Lux trim adds leather, power front seats, panoramic sunroof, and 19-inch wheels (standard models receive 18-inch wheels). The top trim level, Executive, sports 20-inch wheels, heated rear seats, a multi-function steering wheel, and push-button start. Gasoline and diesel powertrains can be had in the three trim levels, while the Hybrid is available in a single trim.

Pricing for the 2011 model year has yet to be announced, but it's likely to retail for more than the 2010 model's $41,650 base price. VW's new SUV is scheduled to arrive in dealer showrooms early in November, with all three powertrain options available before the end of the year.

Source: Volkswagen

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