Volkswagen is giving the world a preview of the third-generation Touareg ahead of the model’s debut at the Beijing auto show at the end of March, hinting at close resemblance to the T-Prime GTE concept that the automaker presented in Beijing in 2016.
At the time, the T-Prime GTE was seen as a close preview of 2018 Touareg design themes and technology, and the sketch VW revealed over the weekend confirms this. The next-gen Touareg has already been seen completely uncamouflaged in several spy photos, so perhaps the sole departure from this official sketch will be the height of the roofline, which is a little taller on the actual vehicle.
Based on the MLB Evo platform shared with the likes of the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne, the third-gen Touareg promises to take a substantial technological (and dimensional) leap over the outgoing model, growing in wheelbase by several inches and offering four-wheel steering in addition to an adjustable air suspension and a giant 15-inch infotainment screen. V6 and V8 engines will power the new Touareg, which is also expected be offered in a hybrid flavor with an electric-only range of about 30 miles.
The T-Prime GTE concept of 2016 was a close preview of the production version the third-generation Touareg.
“The new Touareg makes the brand’s standards clear. The highly expressive design by Klaus Bischoff, head of Volkswagen design, and his team give it an unmistakable appearance that is strong in character,” Volkswagen said. “A phalanx of innovative assistance systems gives it a maximum degree of safety and comfort. One of the largest digital cockpits in its class, the Innovision Cockpit, opens up a new type of infotainment environment. Its connectivity makes it a driving internet node. The drivetrain, air suspension, rear-wheel steering and roll stabilization all ensure a safe and dynamic driving experience.”
If it sounds interesting, get it out of your head: The Touareg won’t be offered in the U.S.
The new VW Atlas SUV, which went on sale in the U.S. last year, took a lot of the pressure to be affordable off the Touareg. The 2018 model will be as advanced (and expensive) as it wants to be, which means it’ll be closer to its pricier Audi and Porsche siblings in terms of tech and equipment. The first two generations of the Touareg were criticized as too pricey for the VW badge, especially given the fact that the Q7 was there for much of its existence, and with a new Tiguan and Atlas in the lineup, Volkswagen can afford to keep the Touareg at the top of the range while taking aim at pricier offerings from BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
The world will see the all-new Touareg in the metal on March 23 in Beijing.