Vehicle Overview from Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Overview
Face-lifted once since its 2002 born-on date, the VW Touareg is set for a full redesign for 2011. It'll be no simple update this time around, as the German manufacturer is making the most of this do-over by completely re-engineering the Touareg as part of its larger plan to bolster market share and substantially increase future U.S. sales. One of the significant changes is a nod to the on-road preferences of most crossover SUV owners by making the Touareg's complex and heavy dual-range transfer case an optional item instead of standard equipment. This saves about 400 pounds, which when combined with its increased body rigidity, should substantially sharpen on-pavement performance. V6 and V8 power are expected to again be offered in the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg, but the real buzz centers on a new gas-electric hybrid drivetrain, developed in cooperation with Porsche. Volkswagen's first-ever production hybrid is based on a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 augmented by a battery-powered electric motor. Together they deliver a lineup-leading 380 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque good for 0-60-mph sprints of 6.3 seconds and a claimed top speed of 149 mph. Outside the new Touareg appears tauter and edgier, with more pronounced character lines and wheel arches. Up front is VW's corporate face; out back are distinctive LED taillights. The Touareg is still a midsize crossover with seating for five, but those in back are particularly well served now, with more rear legroom and a backrest adjustable to three different positions. Early first-drive results reveal that the reworked 2011 Volkswagen Touareg has not only taken its place alongside contemporary rivals like Acura's MDX and BMW's X5, it also appears to have what it takes to compete against cutting-edge hybrid rivals like the Lexus RX 450h and Mercedes ML450 Hybrid. Check back later in the year for a full review as the Touareg goes on sale in the fall of 2010.