The Volkswagen group chose its biggest and most lucrative market to introduce to the world the next generation of its premium SUV. The launch in Beijing was the first instance of the company presenting the world premiere of one of its models on Chinese soil.
The 2019 edition features more traditional styling, in keeping with the company’s design direction of recent years. The vehicle sits slightly lower to the ground than before, but is 5 cm longer and 3 cm wider. Despite its increased overall size, the new Touareg is also a few hundred pounds lighter.
One noteworthy element the addition of what Volkswagen calls the Innovision cockpit. This includes a 12-inch digital screen that accesses the traditional instruments, right next to an immense 15-inch screen for the infotainment system.
The iconic SUV, which has already sold over a million units since it launched in 2002, also incorporates cutting-edge safety and drive assist technologies, such as a heat camera, head up display, semi-automatic lane keep system, LED headlights and front cross traffic alert.
The chassis has been reworked, notably by incorporating in it four-wheel steering, making the Touareg drive like a compact car, according to Volkswagen. Also included is a new system of stabilizer bars equipped with “electromechanically” controlled anti-roll bars.
On launch the 2019 Touareg will come with one of two diesel-engine configurations, with output varying between 228 and 282 hp. A 335-hp V6 engine will be added later, as will an 8-cylinder turbo engine delivering 415 hp. Chines consumers will also get to choose a plug-in hybrid variant with an output of 362 hp.
The question over here, of course, is whether this new premium SUV will make it to the North American market. For the moment it is not at all certain that VW intends to market the Touareg here. Odds are better than even that it will be left aside in favour of the new five-seat Atlas, set to be introduced later this week in New York.
At the same time, the love consumers in North America are feeling for SUVs would indicate that there must surely be room for the Touareg in Volkswagen’s lineup here. Much will depend on where the new edition fits into the automaker’s product range. Keep in mind that when it first debuted, the Touerag sold extremely well, even with its hefty price tag.
We will likely know more about VW’s plans over the coming weeks.