VW scoop round-up: the new Touareg, Sharan, Phaeton

Published: 21 July 2009

VW Sharan video

Volkswagen is busy readying a suite of refreshes for its car range – and our spy photographers have caught this trio of models on test: the next Touareg SUV, a facelifted Phaeton limo and the new Sharan MPV.

That’s a lot of VW scoops! Tell me about the new VW Touareg

Touareg II is codenamed VW726 and we hear it’ll be out in the middle of 2010. Don’t expect radical change – it’s essentially a rebodied version of the existing car, but with numerous technical advances to keep the SUV fresh. Sister cars the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7 follow suit in 2010 and 2013.

The new Touareg is slightly longer than today’s car to move it further upmarket away from Tiguan territory, but we hear that lightweight materials will carve a handy 150 kilos off the Touareg’s kerbweight. Engines will be familiar but upgraded, with direct-injection FSI V6 and V8 petrols and the popular diesels; a hybrid Touareg finally joins price lists with the revised car.

And the new VW Phaeton?

Definitely a facelift job. This one is due around the same time as the Touareg in the second half of 2010 – and will see the leftfield saloon chuntering on until 2014. At present there are no plans to replace the Phaeton in traditional four-door, three-box form, say our sources in Germany. Suits in Wolfsburg are currently mulling over plans for a taller car (think BMW 5-series GT) or a more coupé inspired vehicle like the CLS.

And the Phaeton facelift? A new-look, more contemporary Volkswagen face is being applied to the revised Phaeton. So the biggest VW will look more like the smallest one, the newest addition to the family being the Polo.

And the Sharan?

A bit of a sleeper car. It’s been around in various forms since 1995, with facelifts in 2000 and 2005 – and now Volkswagen is planning its successor. Obviously, Ford has gone it alone this time with the Galaxy, so this is a pure VW Group MPV.   

We’ll see the new Sharan in late 2010 and there will be significant change. But these disguised spy photos confirm it’ll still be a full-size, seven-seat MPV – a workhorse to the Touran’s smaller family tendencies, yet not as big as the full Caravelle minibus spec.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet