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In the past, I always enjoyed the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the Touareg with its Tonka-like styling and its go anywhere nature. Now the latest version of Volkswagen’s range topping SUV has been announced.

Amongst its eye-catching features are the newly-developed IQ.Light HD LED matrix headlights, which use LEDs to turn night into day and the German carmaker claims will not dazzle oncoming traffic. Three light modules in each headlight create an unmistakable design and project a lane of light ahead of the driver to provide maximum visibility and there is also lighting for cornering and poor weather, and with the optional Night Vision assist system, this detects people and animals using a thermal imaging camera and shows them on the cockpit and optional head-up display. Lighting also plays a part in this newcomer’s striking good looks, a redesigned front end features, for the first time and an illuminated horizontal strip in the radiator grille; a similar line across the rear also offers a first for any Volkswagen model in the form of an illuminated red brand logo.

Helping to deliver a stronger on road presence, 20, 21 and 22 inch alloy wheels which add a chunkier look than the previous model. Different design touches are included for the various equipment levels. For example, the flagship Touareg R eHybrid, developed by Volkswagen R, features standard 22 inch Estoril diamond-turned wheel rims with blue brake calipers and decorated with a silver R logo; this is also projected on to the road by the exterior mirrors. Engine choice is excellent, a total of five, each with a three litre V6 power unit: one turbocharged petrol engine (340 PS), two turbo diesel engines (231 PS and 286 PS) and two plug-in hybrids. The plug-in hybrid drive of the eHybrid delivers 381 PS, and the R eHybrid delivers a hefty 462 PS. All engines are mated as standard with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive. Fair to state, an inviting interior; Volkswagen has upgraded the Touareg’s cabin for added comfort, especially on long journeys, including soft armrests and even padding on the centre console to cushion people’s knees from bumps. The new door panels are made of a foamed material and come with attractive double decorative seams. The Innovision Cockpit features the latest hardware and software, including lane-level navigation and high-resolution HD map data, a voice control system and wireless app integration for smartphones. It combines a digital 12 inch instrument cluster and the Discover Premium infotainment system with a central 15 inch touchscreen and the two displays form a continuous digital landscape on one viewing. Electronic devices such as tablets can be charged with 45 instead of 15 Watts, while an optional 730-Watt Dynaudio Consequence sound system for quality entertainment on the move.

The new Touareg, just like the previous model can fulfill a variety of roles, should you be looking for a rugged off-roader, a long-distance cruiser or a towing workhorse and all with the superior comfort and high-tech features we have come expect from the flagship of the Volkswagen brand. There has been a Touareg since 2002 and it takes its name from the Tuareg people of North Africa. The first generation model was developed together with the Porsche Cayenne and the Audi Q7. Since late 2020 it was developed with Audi Q8, Bentley Bentayga and the striking Urus from Lamborghini, quality stablemates for sure.

Ian Lynas


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