New VW Touareg: techy flagship SUV revealed in Beijing | CAR Magazine

New VW Touareg: techy flagship SUV revealed in Beijing

Published: 25 March 2018

► New 2018 VW Touareg is full of tech
► Some systems borrowed from Cayenne
► Revealed today in Beijing

After the usual procession of sketches and teasers, Volkswagen has revealed the new Touareg in Beijing. The third generation of VW’s flagship SUV, the new VW Touareg features a smattering of brand new technology inside and out that should help it maintain an edge in the SUV market.

While the outside may be a little sharper and has hints of the new T-Roc and T-Prime concept, it’s the new Touareg’s interior that sees the biggest step forward.

The new cabin now features an Innovision Cockpit, which in normal speak is a 12-inch Digital Cockpit we’ve seen on other VW models, combined with another even larger display. The top-end infotainment system on the new Touareg measures a huge 15 inches across, and it dominates much of the dashboard.

As you’d expect, the 15-inch Discover Premium infotainment system will be passengers’ first port of call when accessing the car’s numerous assistance, handling and comfort systems – but more on those later.

The new Touareg interior looks to be like a more sophisticated, larger version of the T-Roc’s – probably because that’s exactly what it is. VW is promising an increased amount of connectivity in the new Touareg – as you’d expect in 2018 – but also says more of it will be accessible from the wheel this time round.

The new Touareg also benefits from tech we’ve seen elsewhere in the VW group to bolster its flagship status. There’s a new roadwork lane assist, cross traffic warnings, roll stabilisation and Audi-style LED Matrix headlights. What’s more, active all-wheel steering means it should be more nimble, too.

We drive the new 2018 VW Touareg in prototype form

We’ve already seen the latter on the new Porsche Cayenne, and that makes sense – since all previous versions of VW’s Touareg have used the Porsche SUV’s platform and running gear.

Throw in a thermal imaging Night Vision and a head-up display, and the new Touareg should have the tech to compete in the saturated, premium SUV market.

Following a seemingly irreversible trend, the new Touareg will be wider and longer than its predecessor, but offer much more luggage space, up from 697 litres to 810. Thanks to a new construction of 48% aluminum and 52% high-tech steels, the new Touareg’s body is 106kg lighter than the old one – despite the increased dimensions.

VW is releasing the new Touareg in China first with a PHEV model with 362bhp of power. There’s no date for when that comes to Europe yet, but VW says there will be two V6 diesels of 228bhp and 282bhp in the EU first.

There’ll also be a 335bhp V6 petrol and 415bhp turbodiesel to follow. Prices are TBC.

Check out our VW reviews

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, gamer, serial Lego-ist, lover of hot hatches