Throughout this year, we have spotted prototypes of the third generation of the VW Touareg SUV undergoing testing but under heavy camouflage. However, the latest spy shots show the model with minimal camouflage, an indication that the model is almost nearing its public debut. From the spy shots in our possession, the Touareg design looks to have carried over almost unchanged, a reason why the automaker has relaxed the camouflage on the model. The 2018 Volkswagen Touareg shares its platform with the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7 SUVs which has enhanced its fuel efficiency as well as made it more agile compared to the outgoing version.
2018 Volkswagen Touareg Exterior
From the spy shots, I can tell that the model looks wider as well as more up-market compared to the outgoing version. The front fascia features a gigantic chrome-plate grille that is flanked by LED headlights. Below the grille is an angular bumper that integrates deep air intakes as well as aggressive DRLs. The sides feature a sharp crease that stretches down from the upper door sills and a window line crease that emanates from the headlight housings and stretches to the far end part of the windows; the result of this is a sportier looking SUV. There is also a silver trim that stretches from the front to the rear doors.
At the rear, the SUV features a round-shaped hatch that helps enhance the cabin space. The model also features stylish taillights whose graphics mimic the signal strength of a mobile phone. I can tell that there are slim brake lights under the camouflage. The rear also has a hatch-mounted spoiler as well as angular exhaust tips.
The models we have seen so far undergoing testing were camouflaged and thus it was difficult to get a sneak peak of their interior styling. However, rumor has it that the model will adopt many of the features in the current Tiguan. To start with, the interior of the Touareg will be very spacious and comfortably accommodate five grown passengers offering them sufficient headroom, shoulder room and legroom. In fact, if the automaker so deserves, the third row of seats for kids can be fitted in there but VW has no immediate plans to add such a third row. This leaves the model with plenty of cargo space, 700 liters to be specific while the seats are up. Folding the rear seats expands the cargo space even further.
I expect the model to come with a 12.3-inch screen in place of traditional dials. The model will also have a head-up display that will be well placed to ensure the driver does not move his eyes from the road ahead. I also expect a large infotainment screen to host other controls and functions of the vehicle. According to insider sources, the Touareg will also feature VW’s semi-autonomous driving technology that will feature a host of safety features. More information will be available when we get a clear shot of the cabin.
Engine and performance
According to credible information, the 2018 Volkswagen Touareg will be powered by a number of engines. In some markets such as China, I understand the model will feature a turbocharged 2.0 L, TFSI 4-cylinder gasoline engine. However such a mill won’t be offered in the U.S.; rather, it will be paired with an electric motor for a plug-in hybrid.
Details on this engine are not yet available but rumor has it that the plug-in setup will have a fully-EV range of 30 miles. In Europe, the SUV will also be offered with a 3.0 L, V-6 gasoline mill as well as a turbocharged 4.0 L, V-8. The model could also adopt the 4.0 L, TDI V-8 mill from the SQ7 but such a model won’t be available in the U.S. due to the automaker’s previous diesel-gate scandal.
Price and release date
Considering the model is still undergoing testing; the automaker has not yet released its official prices. According to rumors, the SUV’s price will likely range from £45,000 ($58,250), for the entry level model to £60,000 ($77,600), for the top trim. Sales will commence in the first half of next year; before that, the automaker may showcase the model at the Frankfurt Auto show this September.