2011 Vw Touareg TDI may be the best way to get Americans into diesels

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 25, 2011

The 2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI is touted as the diesel model that may be the most successful at convincing Americans to make the switch. This large SUV offers impressive fuel economy while still being able to retain its European sophistication. Americans have not exactly been as eager to embrace these efficient engines like other parts of the world have.

But Volkswagen has high hopes for this redesigned and significantly improved Touareg, which is powered by a low-emissions quiet-operating 3-liter turbocharged direct injection (T-D-I) engine that has as much power but better fuel economy than gas-powered rivals.

It’s unfortunate that most Americans only see diesels as primitive engines that only appeal to farmers and truck drivers. What they don’t know is that diesel engines run at higher compressions, provide more torque, and its fuel gives more energy than gas.

The Touareg is powered by a 3-liter V-6 that has an output of 406 pound-feet of torque and 225hp. The redesigned Touareg weighs almost 5,000 pounds as the company had been able to make it lighter by 300 pounds.

The fact that the Touareg has aggressive acceleration is very impressive. But even with the weight loss, the Touareg has kept a heavy feel to its performance. Its V-6 delivers 100% of its torque at only 1,750 rpm.

Improvements made with the new Volkswagen Touareg are not limited to its engines, but also involve its appearance. In particular, the new VW Touareg features new styling and a sportier layout of proportions. VW’s design team – lead by Klaus Bischoff – decided to provide the new VW Touareg with more elegant looks by having it inherit the brand’s Design DNA. For instance, the front end of the Touareg is now more horizontally aligned and is marked by characteristic headlights. This also holds true to the rear end of the VW Touareg, now endowed with the distinctive night-time rear light design and a leaner and sportier body.

All of these provided the Touareg with dynamic yet elegant proportions and exterior styling. VW designers have made sure that the SUV looks unmistakably as a VW Touareg, using high quality materials and a unique look. Having such a characteristic look is basically an important element in the current world of automobiles. Competition is harsh in this industry with its incessantly growing number of vehicles and segments on the global market. For a product to become sustainable as long as it can, it should be able to stand out from this very large crowd by exuding a charming yet unmistakable design statement.

This is what VW has been able to achieve with the Touareg so far, with its horizontally aligned VW fascia and its leaner and more extended body. The German carmaker launched its new Design DNA with the new VW Scirocco, setting the design tone for other future VW models in a variety of vehicle classes. This new VW Design DNA, in particular, entails a clear horizontal structure and orientation. It features a number of key elements.

These include the black, high-gloss trim of the upper radiator grille and the continuous chrome trim strips of the headlights. These key elements also include the body-colored middle level of the bumper and a U-shaped lower air inlet framed in chrome trim as a third level. However, this new Design DNA does not restrict the models in each vehicle to have its own distinct visual character. Apparently, the new VW Touareg also has its own visual character.

Of course, there are clear differentiations on the above-named details, according to the segment where a vehicle belongs. These differentiations include the styling of the bonnet and fenders, the interplay of proportions, and the form of the headlights. In fact, the VW Touareg is the first luxury class vehicle to have the new Volkswagen face. The rugged dynamic looks of the new VW Touareg is highlighted by its well-modulated V-shaped bonnet and dominant shoulder line while its elegance is underscored by its clear surfaces.

Considered as a key element of the Touareg’s Design DNA is its horizontal band, which is basically made up of its trapezoidal headlights, the flat grille and the integrated VW logo. Moreover, the styling of the lower chrome insert on the radiator grille is also reflected on into the dual headlights. Customers could choose from three available versions for the headlights: halogen, bi-xenon and bi-xenon with Dynamic Light Assist (continuous main beam).

Located below the bumper’s body-colored lower section are the SUV’s lower air intakes. On the VW Touareg Hybrid and Touareg V8 TDI, the central intake features chrome fins and a U-shaped frame. Meanwhile, the bumper's lowermost section is home to the front fog lights. The radar sensors of the optional adaptive cruise control system (ACC plus Front Assist) are also accommodated on the bumper's lowermost section.

Topics: vw, vw touareg, diesel, suv

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