2011 Volkswagen Touareg

, Posted by Sports Cars Fans at 8:36 AM

2011 Volkswagen Touareg

We weren't expecting to see the new second generation Volkswagen Touareg until the beginning of March at the Geneva Motor Show, but VW rolled out its big SUV at an event in Munich earlier today. The basic shape and proportions of the exterior haven't changed much, but the body sides are now more sculpted than before, making it a bit more planted and – dare we say – sporty. At the front the Touareg has picked up the new horizontal VW family face that debuted on the latest Golf and Polo, finally discarding the more vertical and heavily chromed fascia of the original.

Fuel efficiency was of paramount importance in the redesign, and weight reduction plays an a key role. The original Touareg was always porky for its size, so VW put the 'ute on a diet and the new base Touareg is now nearly 460 pounds lighter than its predecessor. Of course, a weight loss program only gets you so far, so the powertrains needed an upgrade too.

The new Touareg brings with it Volkswagen's first ever mass produced hybrid drivetrain. The hybrid combines the VW Group's supercharged and direct injected 3.0-liter V6 with an electric motor and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Touareg hybrid gets a combined rating of 28.6 mpg (U.S.) on the EU cycle, a number that will probably be closer to 24-25 when it arrives Stateside. The diesel powered TDI does even better now with a rating of 31.8 mpg (U.S.). The Touareg is also available with a normally aspirated 3.6-liter gasoline V6 and for the first time the awesome 335 horsepower 4.2-liter TDI V8. Even the diesel V8 is rated at 25.8 mpg (U.S.). Unfortunately Americans won't be able to get that powerplant.

[Source: Volkswagen]