The Volkswagen Touareg is Here, and It Puts the BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE to Shame
Volkswagen has finally introduced the third-generation Touareg, and it comes to prove a point that Volkswagen isn’t playing around in the premium segment. The exterior gets a healthy restyle that brings it inline with more aggressive offerings on the market while the interior pushes technology to a whole new level. Of course, you can see some Audi and Porsche cues here and there but, for the most part, the Touareg stands on its own four wheels. The new Touareg will initially be offered with two variations of a diesel-drinking V-6 and a V-8. A gasoline V-6 is scheduled for the future while China is set to get a hybrid powertrain.
2018 Volkswagen Touareg
About six years old as of 2017, the second-generation Volkswagen Touareg is being prepared for the history books as the German company is testing a redesigned model. Spotted on the road on many occasions in the first half of 2016, the third-generation Touareg was once again caught in traffic by our paparazzi.
Likely to arrive sometime in 2017 and go on sale in U.S. dealerships for the 2018 model year, the third-gen Touareg will get a serious makeover inside and out. A refreshed engine lineup is also on the table, with both gasoline and diesel powerplants set to receive updates. The big news is obviously the new MLB platform, which will make the SUV lighter than its predecessor and allow for better interior packaging and more luggage space.
Hidden under heavy camouflage, the SUV has very few details to share with us at this point, but we know just enough for a speculative review on what it may bring to the table. Find out more about it below and stay tuned for updates.
Updated 03/23/2018: We know you’ve come here to learn all about the new, third-gen Touareg, so we’re busy updating this review as you read this. Until we’re done, we’ve added a special section below with a new gallery of images and a link back to our featured news on the new Touareg.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Volkswagen Touareg.
2019 Volkswagen Teramont
Volkswagen teased the world with its CrossBlue concept at the 2013 North American International Auto show in Detroit, but little news has come from the German automaker about the three-row SUV. That’s no longer the case since these spy shots surfaced of an early pre-production mule first reported by the Chinese auto website Autohome.
Volkswagen’s marketing department has seemingly chosen another “T” name, going along with Touareg and Tiguan. Meet the Teramont.
The spy photos show plenty of the Teramont’s design details, though details of its engineering remain a mystery. A V6 badge is seen on the tailgate, but what V-6 engine VW is using is still unknown.
A report from Auto Evolution suggests the Teramont is slated for debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show in mid November. If it does make its debut, VW will likely slate the Teramont for the 2019 model year, allowing time for further testing and manufacturing rollout. In that case, the SUV will make its appearance in U.S. Volkswagen dealerships in Q4 of 2017. The report also suggests the Teramont will be produced at VW’s Chattanooga, Tennessee assembly plant.
Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Teramont.
2016 Volkswagen Touareg by ABT Sportsline
ABT Sportsline has been around the tuning game for 25 years (not to be confused with Auto-Abt’s own 120-year history) but its history with SUVs only goes back to 2002. Despite the abbreviated history, the German tuner has evolved into one of the biggest aftermarket tuners in the world, specifically when it comes to Volkswagen models. That fact was on full display recently when ABT presented its latest aftermarket offering for a VW with a tuning program dedicated to the Touareg SUV. There are no mouth-watering spikes in power to speak of with this kit, but the tuner did what it does best, polishing the Touareg’s power and performance numbers by helping add juice to the SUV’s two diesel engines, including a peak output of 385 horsepower and 649 pound-feet of torque for the Europe-spec 4.2-liter V-8 TDI engine.
In addition to the power upgrades, ABT Sportsline also has a specially developed aerodynamic package that adds both aesthetic and functional appeal to the SUV. New wheels are also part of the kit as they always are in any ABT Sportsline program. There are also chassis and suspension upgrades to help balance out the Touareg’s handling characteristics with the power upgrades in tow.
There’s a lot to like about this new program from ABT. Volkswagen Touareg owners, in particular, should be ecstatic about the opportunity to get some extra muscle out of their luxury SUVs. There aren’t that many tuners that venture into VW SUVs quite like ABT Sportsline so having this program available is a blessing in it of itself. The fact that it comes from one of the industry’s best VW tuners is just icing on the cake.
Continue after the jump to read the full review.
2017 Volkswagen Phideon
2015 was a year Volkswagen would rather delete from the collective memory using Agent K’s neuralyzer. The "Dieselgate" scandal caused sales to collapse, executives to resign, and spawned a massive investigation that could change the way production cars are tested before they hit dealerships. Moreover, it will cost the brand millions of dollars to handle all the recalls that resulted from the case and probably more to fix its public image. However, this didn’t stop Volkswagen from developing new models, one of which is the Phideon.
Launched at the Geneva Motor Show alongside the T-Cross Breeze Concept and the new Up!, the Phideon is a large sedan that will slot above the Passat in the company’s lineup. Interestingly enough, the Phideon is about the same size as the Phaeton, which suggests that the Germans have finally decided to offer a new flagship sedan. On the other hand, and this is somewhat strange considering the car made its debut in Geneva, the Phideon will be produced and sold in China, with no plans to offer it in Europe or North America.
As for the awkward name, Volkswagen says it is a made up name that stands for elegance and reliability, while symbolically evoking Fides, the Roman goddess of fidelity.
Is the Phideon a preview of the next-generation Phaeton that VW will sell in Europe and the U.S.? It’s very likely, but we won’t know for sure until Volkswagen spills the beans. Until that happens, let’s have a closer look at the brand’s new flagship sedan.
Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Phideon.
The Volkswagen Phaeton came to be back in the early 2000s when the chairman at the time – Ferdinand Piech – decided to challenge VW engineers to come up with a vehicle that could compete with the Mercedes-Benz S-class, and cruise at 300 kph (186 mph) comfortably. The result was the 2002 Volkswagen Phaeton that was built with handpicked materials and white gloves – coming with a sticker price of 89,650 Euro ($101,000.) The Phaeton didn’t perform well in the U.S., which eventually led Wolfgang Bernard to pull the Phaeton from the market in 2006, which turned out to be one of the things that ended his career with Volkswagen. The Phaeton continued in other markets, but sales were still unacceptably low.
This year Volkswagen was supposed to reveal the new Phaeton, which – back in 2012 – was said to be the car that would influence all Volkswagen models going forward. More recent news has come to light, however, and plans have changed drastically. Unnamed sources close to the Phaeton project now claim that Volkswagen has decided to hold off on the Phaetons design, despite the fact that the new design is ready for production. The move to completely revamp the Phaeton, and delay the release of the current design, came from the desire to increase profits from the slow-selling luxury sedan. As of the time of this writing, there is no word of when the next design of the Phaeton will debut or be ready for production.
Continue reading for the full story.
Looking to improve both fuel economy and performance in its future products, the Volkswagen Group is reportedly working on the development a new family of turbocharged V-6 and V-8 engines. Although no timeframe was given for when these engines will debut, they will first appear in Audi and Porsche products before making their way under the hoods of other VW Group brands, including Volkswagen, Bentley and perhaps evenLamborghini.
The source of the information is unknown, but Autocar reports that the new engines will share common elements, including a 90-degree layout with each cylinder having a 0.5-liter displacement. This means that the V-6 will be a 3.0-liter engine, while the V-8 will be a 4.0-liter. Making these new engines even more intriguing is that each will be fitted with a standard turbo at launch but could eventually switch to an electric turbo in the future. Audi could also be developing a downsized version of the V-6 – around 2.5 liters – that will be used on entry-level products and use the Atkinson cycle.
Based on the report that these engines will be utilized by Porsche, it would seem that they are being developed for larger passenger cars and SUVs such as the Porsche Panamera and Porsche Cayenne.
Continue reading for the full story.
Tested on public roads for more than a year now, the 2015 Volkswagen Touareg, a mid-life refresh for the second-generation SUV, made its public debut at the Beijing Auto Show in China. As expected, the facelift arrives with updated front and rear fascias, the former sporting a slightly more aggressive design and bi-xenon headlamps standard across the entire lineup. There are also new exterior colors and new wheels.
Interior upgrades are less extensive, but Volkswagen has spiced things up with a new button/control configuration, while adding more leather and wood trim options. Although horsepower and torque updates were also rumored, the 2015 Touareg will hit U.S. showrooms with the same engine lineup as the 2014 model. However, the minor aerodynamic improvements and the optimized eight-speed automatic have enabled Volkswagen to enhance the fuel efficiency of the SUV by up to six percent.
Updated 08/06/2015: Volkswagen announced a series of updates for the 2016 Touareg, starting with a price reduction of about $2,000 across the lineup, meaning it is now priced from $42,700. For the new model year, minor changes were made, while the Hybrid version was dropped.
Click past the jump to read more about Volkswagen Touareg.
Within the next couple of years, Volkswagen seems poised to reintroduce its Phaeton luxury flagship sedan to the U.S. market, and thanks to the 2015 Kia K900 and 2014 Hyundai Equus, consumers seem to have finally warmed up to the idea of high-lux sedans from mainstream brands. That said, though, VW still has its work cut out for it to ensure the second-gen Phaeton doesn’t repeat the sales flop of the 2004-06 model (which is still on sale in Europe and China), with a high-tech platform and drivetrain.
According to Automotive News, when the new Volkswagen Phaeton arrives in late 2016 or early 2017, it will do so with the option of an advanced plug-in hybrid powertrain that will likely be shared with other Volkswagen Group models riding on the MLB platform, which include the 2016 Audi Q7. There are no additional details about the Phaeton PHEV, but the upcoming Q7 has been developed with two PHEV powertrains: one that uses a 2.0-liter gasoline four-cylinder and another with a 3.0-liter diesel V-6.
One of the more interesting details about the report is the fact that VW seems to be positioning the new Phaeton to compete against the ultra-luxurious 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class leaving the closely related 2015 Audi A8 to take on the newly introduced 2016 BMW 7 Series.
Continue reading for the full story.
The Volkswagen Touareg is one of the most underrated off-road vehicles of all time. VW has big piles of trophies from running it at Dakar, Baja and Pikes Peak; but without the boxy, utilitarian looks of the Wrangler or the Defender, VW’s marketing people need to constantly remind the public of what the SUV can do. This latest effort to do just that comes from Volkswagen Russia, and it shows a Touareg driving on a frozen lake. But this isn’t some quick jaunt, the Touareg is driven a total of 1,000 kilometers (625 miles) across the frozen surface of the lake. Possibly making the consistent thickness of the ice the most impressive part of the stunt.
The video obviously doesn’t show the entire trip, but it does show that the occupants of the Touareg were driving overnight, and they should be commended for the bravery required to drive over a frozen lake all night long. These men were racing driver Andrei Leontiev and Alexander Burmeyster, and the SUV recorded the fastest ever average speed over 1,000 km on ice. All this with a totally stock 2015 Touareg on regular street tires.
Volkswagen as a car brand has largely steered clear of the luxury segment in recent years, with the Phaeton carrying the flag for VW as the company’s only luxury model. Unfortunately, the flagship sedan hasn’t had the kind of sales success VW had hoped it would have. But all that could change soon as an Autobild report suggests that Volkswagen is preparing to bring in another luxury model to help fill the gap between the Passat and the Phaeton — the Phaeton is set to return to the U.S. in the near future.
According to the German newspaper, Volkswagen is setting its sights on the BMW 5 Series with a new sedan that would be earmarked specifically for the U.S. and Chinese markets. A station wagon version is expected to follow soon after, creating a variety of versions for discerning customers looking for an alternative to the 5 Series, or any other sedan in the same segment.
There are still a lot of details about this yet-to-be-named model that need to be ironed out. One would be the platform it uses. Apparently, discussions within Volkswagen have narrowed the choices to two: the MQB platform that will underpin the next-generation Passat or the MLB platform that the Audi A6 currently uses. It’s more likely that Volkswagen will opt for the latter as it tries to borrow a lot of the tech and mechanical bits from the A6 to give the sedan its luxury digs yet still keep it at a distance from the much bigger Phaeton.
Power won’t be an issue, either, as Volkswagen is likely to scour through its own parts bin to find an appropriate four- or six-cylinder to drop into the sedan’s engine bay. A V-8 could also be in the cards, although it’s unlikely that VW goes ahead with it knowing that the Phaeton’s top-range unit already carries the same engine under its hood.
Despite the ongoing discussions surrounding this new luxury sedan, don’t expect to see it anytime soon because a debut is unlikely at least until the end of this decade.
Click past the jump to read more about Volkswagen’s future BMW 5 Series competitor.
The Volkswagen CC may not carry the same level of mainstream recognition as the Passat, but there’s a certain segment of the population that developed a certain level of affinity for the luxury sedan. Well, for those who fall under this category, good news has arrived in the form of a next-generation Volkswagen CC.
MotorTrend sat down and talked with VW of America president Michael Horn and among other topics that were discussed, the future of the next-generation CC was broached. According to Horn, the next-gen CC is already under development and there are talks within the company that the new CC could come in a radically new design that could have similarities with the Audi A7.
Horn also teased that the new CC could come in more than just one version, which could include a fastback model that will draw comparisons to the A7 Sportback. If anything, using the A7 as a peg for the next-generation CC is as good an indication as any that Volkswagen has some big plans for its luxury sedan.
Other than the expected design overhaul of the CC, Volkswagen is apparently considering building the sedan closer to where a bulk of its models will land. Horn indicated as much, telling MotorTrend that rising production costs could compel the company to shift production in the US or in Mexico.
That’s as much as we know about the Volkswagen CC. At this point, we’re just excited to see that VW has serious intentions of smoothly bringing along the next-generation CC.
Note: Current generation pictured here.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Volkswagen CC.
The Volkswagen Passat CC is quite the luxury car. It’s not quite in the level of a Mercedes or a BMW, but as far as receiving premium amenities are concerned, this German luxury sedan carries a lot of them.
But even with its good standing, you can’t deny that there’s still room for improvement.
That’s where FolienCenter-NRW enters the picture. The German tuner has made our pages before, most recently when they upgraded the Audi TT to impressive levels.
Well, the tuner’s follow up to that is no less impressive, even though the program was built specifically for a customer. We love the matte chocolate brown color that FolienCenter-NRW used on the Passat.
Plus, it’s got a pretty significant performance boost that’s impossible to just brush aside and ignore. Interior upgrades are also part of the program, which means that FolienCenter-NRW spared no expense in building a comprehensive program for the Passat CC.
Click past the jump to see what FolienCenter-NRW did to the Passat CC
Come 2015 when Volkswagen announces the next-generation Phaeton, it will also debut a new design language that will influence the entire VW range, according to Design Director Klaus Bischoff.
The design boss himself admits that the new design language that debuted with the VW Golf VII was a mistake. Unlike most companies where the design of the flagship product influences the rest of product range — the "top-down" approach — with the Golf VII, VW used the bottom-up approach that, according to Bischoff, didn’t bode well with the market.
If there is something that we’d criticize about the current design language is that the entire VW lineup looks eerily similar. For the future design language, Klaus promises that there will be a specific look for saloons, one for the SUV lineup, one for the people carriers and one for hatchbacks. We hope this change flows over to Audi as well.
With Klaus Bischoff promising such changes, the future of this German giant looks bright. Though it’s easy to make promises, delivering them is the actual challenge.
Before the 2013 model year, the top trim level of the Passat in the UK was the SE trim, which was relatively decked out, but lacked some of the extras that most premium sedans came with. In 2013, VW plans to change that by offering up a replacement for the outgoing SE trim level, the Passat Highline. Not only does the “Highline” name sound more luxurious than “SE,” but it also boasts an array of standard features that the SE did not.
This new addition affects both the Passat Saloon and the Passat Estate, which are a sedan and wagon, respectively. This gives the Passat lineup three trim levels in each body style, starting with the base-level S, the mid-grade BlueMotion, and capping off with the Highline. The real test is whether the additions to the top-level trim on the Passat really warrant the price the VW will place on it.
Click past the jump to read the full list of features and more.