Volkswagen Touareg 2012 luxury SUV
The Volkswagen Touareg 2012 shows advanced, fuel-saving technologies, and a new driving experience. New from the ground up for the 2011 model year, this second-generation Touareg is bigger yet as much as 350 pounds lighter, more spacious yet lower to the ground, more luxurious and better-equipped yet has a starting MSRP of just $ 42.975-considerably less than many mid-size SUV rivals.
To truly show the road ahead, the Touareg 2012 model range features the world’s first supercharged gasoline hybrid, packing the punch of a V8 with the fuel efficiency of a V6—and, at speeds up to 30 mph, the zero emissions of an electric car.
And while other automakers decide whether to offer diesel powertrains for their SUVs, the 2012 Touareg TDI® Clean Diesel is already on the highway, averaging 28 mpg on the highway and covering over 700 miles on each tank of ultra-low-sulfur diesel.
The VR6 and TDI Clean Diesel lines are now available with a new Touareg Sport with Navigation model that adds a sophisticated RNS 850 navigation system with an eight-inch color touchscreen, 60GB hard drive and Park Distance Control.
The Volkswagen Touareg has always had an imposing curbside presence thanks to its sleek profile and wide, dynamic stance. Key design elements, which have also inspired the look of the Tiguan, include a narrower grille, featuring twin chrome-faced strips that connect seamlessly to new trapezoidal headlight housings. These feature a dramatic U-shaped ring of bright-white LED daytime running lights along with Bi-Xenon high intensity gas-discharged headlamps.
In addition to being able to carry five in comfort, the 2012 Touareg can also carry all of their luggage. Press a button on the elegant remote key fob to release the power-lifting tailgate and there is space behind the seats to swallow more than 32 cubic feet of cargo. Need more space? The seatback is split 40/20/40 with each section folding to offer an array of load-carrying possibilities. And with all sections folded, the Touareg can squeeze-in an impressive 64 cubic feet of luggage.
The Volkswagen Touareg 2012 offers an available expansive panoramic glass sunroof. Measuring 57 inches long and 39 inches wide, it’s a full 350 percent larger than the sunroof in the previous model. It is so big that this tilt/slide roof occupies almost the entire roof area above the occupants, thus conveying a unique feeling of open space.
For the driver, the Touareg 2012 offers the finest of workplaces. A new seat design offers more side and under-thigh support along with up to 12-way power adjustment. And, for more interior comfort headroom in the front (and rear) has been improved.
Volkswagen instruments set the standard for simplicity and clarity, and the Touareg’s oversized speedometer and tachometer are no exception: Crisp, easy-to-read numbers, red needles, no clutter. And mounted between the dials is a seven-inch color, high-resolution display providing the driver with the latest vehicle status information, including fuel range, turn-by-turn navigation directions, information from the drive system in the Hybrid model, and much more.
And the 2012 Touareg’s cabin delivers interior quality at its finest. From its soft-touch, low-gloss plastics, to its ‘Vienna’ leather, to its Walnut veneers and brushed metal trim, it delivers a true premium experience.
The Volkswagen Touareg offers a choice of three highly-advanced powertrains that each offer unique driving characteristics.
The 3.6-liter V6 FSI® gasoline engine is one of the most powerful that Volkswagen builds. With double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing and direct fuel injection, it produces 280 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque.
Coupled with the eight-speed automatic transmission that’s standard on all 2012 Touareg models, the Touareg V6 FSI has seen real gains in fuel economy. The EPA-estimated 23 mpg highway/16 mpg city represents a combined 19 per cent improvement over the previous model.
The 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine powering the Touareg TDI® Clean Diesel is acknowledged as one of the world’s great engines. It’s the engine that powered the Touareg TDI of Rainer Zietlow and his team on the recent TDI-Panamericana Challenge.
This six-cylinder turbocharged powerhouse produces 225 horsepower and a mighty 406 lb-ft of torque from just 1750 rpm. It also delivers an EPA-estimated 28 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in city driving. That means up to 728 miles of driving on one tank of ultra-low-sulfur clean diesel.
Like the Touareg V6, the TDI Clean Diesel comes standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission. A first in the SUV market, this new transmission configures seventh and eighth gears as fuel-efficient overdrives: top gear reduces engine rpms by 33 percent over sixth gear. (The car’s maximum speed is reached in sixth gear.) In addition to offering significant fuel economy benefits, it makes for quieter, more relaxed highway cruising.
The transmission also features Tiptronic® manual control along with Sport mode, and a Dynamic Shift Program (DSP) that adapts to the driver’s individual style and adjusts the shift points accordingly. As Volkswagen’s first production hybrid electric vehicle, the all-new 2012 Touareg Hybrid pairs a 3.0-liter 333-horsepower supercharged, direct-injection V6 gasoline engine with a 47-horsepower electric motor.
The electric motor gets its energy from a nickel metal-hydride battery pack fitted beneath the luggage compartment. The 288-volt pack consists of 240 individual cells and offers an energy density of 1.7kWh. Both systems are capable of running independently, or together. When combined they produce a total of 380 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque, thus offering drivers the power of a V8 with the better fuel economy than a V6.
The design changes for the Touareg included an increased use of aluminum. This contributed to the impressive 300-pound-plus weight reduction—366 pounds for the Touareg 3.6 V6 FSI and 330 pounds with the Touareg TDI Clean Diesel—compared to the previous versions.
4Motion® permanent all-wheel drive is standard on all 2012 Touareg trim lines. The system features a rear limited-slip Torsen® differential that splits the available torque 40 per cent front and 60 per cent rear for balanced on- and off-road driving.
Wheel choices are dependent on each individual Touareg model. The Sport comes standard with the 10-spoke 18-inch Tacora wheel fitted with 255/55 R18 all-season tires. The Lux and Hybrid feature 19-inch, five-spoke Everest rims with 265/50 R19 tires. The Executive model has 20-inch Pikes Peak wheels with 275/45 R20 tires.
The 2012 Touareg offers an impressive number of standard active and passive safety features to help keep driver and passengers safe.
Passive safety features include six airbags, including Side Curtain Protection® head airbags for the front and rear outboard occupants, and front and thorax units for the driver and front passenger.
There’s also a next-generation Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Brake Disc Wiping to help keep the pads dry so as to optimize braking when it’s raining, and Volkswagen’s advanced Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system.
The 2012 Touareg line-up is kept simple by offering customers a choice of four trim levels—Sport, Sport with Navigation, Lux, and Executive—with either 3.6 VR6 gasoline or 3.0 TDI Clean Diesel power. The Touareg Hybrid is a stand-alone model.
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