New 2011 Volkswagen Touareg now available in New Zealand

November 19th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen has launched its completely redeveloped Touareg into the New Zealand market with a special event held this week.

The 2011 Touareg is coming out swinging into the competitive luxury SUV market with an updated range of engines that are up to 25 percent more fuel efficient. There’s also some clever new driver assistance and safety systems. The Touareg V6 TDI with 7.4 litre combined fuel consumption now posts among the best value in the segment.

The new standard model Touareg was lightened by over 200 kgs, but has greater torsional rigidity and is built lower to the ground with improved aerodynamics. Together with front end styling based on the new Volkswagen family face, this results in a smaller frontal area. All engines are now offered with a standard 8-speed automatic transmission.

The V6 TDI models feature VolkswagenŸs BlueMotion Technologies — which include a revolutionary start-stop system that automatically shuts off the engine when the car is stationary, a regenerative braking system which recycles braking energy and low friction tyres.

Also modified in pursuit of reduced fuel consumption was the standard all-wheel drive system. All new generation Touaregs have all-wheel drive (“4Motion”) with a Torsen limited-slip differential. The Touareg also has an “Off-road driving programme”, which – at the press of a button – tunes the ABS, EDS and ASR for off-road duty, activates Hill Descent Assist and adjusts the automatic gearshift points. The V6 TDI can also be ordered with an optional “Terrain Technology” package that includes a traditional transfer case designed for off-road duty. It includes reduction gearing and centre and rear differentials, each with up to 100 percent locking.

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Volkswagen reveals reworked 2011 Touareg

February 12th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Described as the most technically innovative Volkswagen ever created, the 2011 Touareg makes use of many modifications to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

The exterior design remains familiar but dimensions have changed 4.3 cm longer, 2.0 cm lower, and has a 4.0 cm longer wheelbase –  width remains unchanged. Design details include a new corporate face grille, a reshaped profile, and distinctive taillights.

Inside, the cabin has higher quality materials, more comfortable seats, and additional rear leg room. The rear seats can be folded down via a press of a button to free up 1,642 liters of cargo space (it has 580 liters of space with seats up). Other equipment includes a standard 6.5 inch touch-screen, a 6-disc CD changer, an available GPS navigation system (with an 8-inch touch-screen), and a variety of different trims.

Weighing in at 208 kilograms less than the outgoing model, the 2011 Touareg offers a choice of FSI, TDI, TSI, and Hybrid engines. The V8 petrol, V10 TDI, and W12 engines are no longer offered.

The Touareg Hybrid is motivated by a supercharged V6 TSI petrol engine that produces 245 kW and an electric motor with 34 kW. With a combined output of 279 kW and 580 Nm of torque, the Hybrid can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds and push on to a top speed of 240 km/h. Combined fuel consumption is rated at 8.2 L/100 km, while CO2 emissions come in at 193 g/km. The hybrid can also drive up to 50 km/h in pure electric mode.

The 3.6-liter V6 FSI has 206 kW of power and 360 Nm of torque. It drinks 9.9 L/100 km, and has a CO2 emission rating of 236 g/km.

On the diesel side Volkswagen offers two TDI engines. The V6 TDI cranks out 176 kW and 550 Nm of torque. It consumes 7.4 l/100 km. On the other hand, the new 4.2-liter V8 TDI has 250 kW and a whopping 800 Nm of torque. Fuel consumption is rated at 9.1 L/100 km.

The engines send power through two all-wheel drive systems. The base 4Motion version has a Torsen limited-slip differential and an off-road driving program. If that isn’t enough for your off-road adventures, the V6 TDI offers an available 4XMOTION all-wheel drive system.  It allows the Touareg to climb grades of up to 45 degrees thanks to reduction gearing, locking differentials (center and rear), and a rotary terrain switch (which offers five modes – On-Road, Off-Road, Low, centre differential lock, and rear differential lock).

The new Touareg will start arriving in dealerships globally from April.

VW Touareg takes Dakar Rally one-two-three finish

January 18th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

VW Touareg Dakar 2010

Volkswagen has won the Dakar Rally for the second time in succession and including 1980 for a third time. After a ‘showdown in blue’ the Volkswagen duos and their TDI powered Race Touareg prototypes celebrated a one-two-three podium lockout at the finish of the toughest challenge in motorsport. In the process, Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz triumphed by only 2 minutes 12 seconds ahead of his team mates Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk in a thrilling finale on the closing 202 kilometre sprint on the 14th and final rally day. Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford claimed third position. Last year’s winners Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz finished seventh.
VW remains the only manufacturer to have won the car category of the Dakar Rally with diesel power. TDI technology was already dominant in 2009 in Argentina and Chile. In addition to the efficiency of the Volkswagen Group’s diesel direct injection technology the Race Touareg’s reliability was the key to the 2010 “Dakar” victory: Despite the extreme demands the powerful 300 hp Race Touareg proved to be not only the most robust, but also the fastest vehicle: Seven of 14 possible stage victories and eleven days in the lead were credited to the four-wheel drive racers from Wolfsburg.
The result of the rally kept observers and fans alike on tenterhooks up to the finish line: Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz, Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk and Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford led in this order since the fifth Dakar Rally stage. However, at no point did any driver duo have an unassailable lead. In a strong final burst Al-Attiyah/Gottschalk edged ever closer, repeatedly taking seconds from their Volkswagen team mates Sainz/Cruz and, in doing so, staged a hard but fair duel for the leading position. The Qatari/German duo made up ground specifically in the dune sections — which once again formed one of the “Dakar’s” core elements — while the Spanish duo Sainz/Cruz controlled proceedings on the fast, twisty gravel sections.
As varied as the fight in the overall standings was — two stage wins went to Sainz/Cruz, four to Al-Attiyah/Gottschalk, one to Miller/Pitchford. So challenging proved the 32nd running of the Dakar Rally: In addition to the varied stages across soft, in part powder-like sand and through towering and endless dune fields of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile there were also gravel sections and tracks through enormous boulder fields on the agenda. The multi-faceted acid test with its terrain changing several times a day, two Andes crossings, passages through the world’s driest desert, the Atacama, as well as parts of the legendary Pampa.
For the new “Dakar” champions Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz a winning streak continued in front of millions of fans lining the daily stages in Argentina and Chile. As newly formed duo in the Volkswagen Race Touareg the Spanish pair remained unbeaten in their third competition together and secured a new superlative in “Dakar” history: Never before have two Spaniards won the legendary desert rally’s automobile category.

Volkswagen has won the Dakar Rally for the second time in succession and including 1980 for a third time. After a ‘showdown in blue’ the Volkswagen duos and their TDI powered Race Touareg prototypes celebrated a one-two-three podium lockout at the finish of the toughest challenge in motorsport. In the process, Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz triumphed by only 2 minutes 12 seconds ahead of his team mates Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk in a thrilling finale on the closing 202 kilometre sprint on the 14th and final rally day. Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford claimed third position. Last year’s winners Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz finished seventh.

VW remains the only manufacturer to have won the car category of the Dakar Rally with diesel power. TDI technology was already dominant in 2009 in Argentina and Chile. In addition to the efficiency of the Volkswagen Group’s diesel direct injection technology the Race Touareg’s reliability was the key to the 2010 “Dakar” victory: Despite the extreme demands the powerful 300 hp Race Touareg proved to be not only the most robust, but also the fastest vehicle: Seven of 14 possible stage victories and eleven days in the lead were credited to the four-wheel drive racers from Wolfsburg.

The result of the rally kept observers and fans alike on tenterhooks up to the finish line: Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz, Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk and Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford led in this order since the fifth Dakar Rally stage. However, at no point did any driver duo have an unassailable lead. In a strong final burst Al-Attiyah/Gottschalk edged ever closer, repeatedly taking seconds from their Volkswagen team mates Sainz/Cruz and, in doing so, staged a hard but fair duel for the leading position. The Qatari/German duo made up ground specifically in the dune sections — which once again formed one of the “Dakar’s” core elements — while the Spanish duo Sainz/Cruz controlled proceedings on the fast, twisty gravel sections.

As varied as the fight in the overall standings was — two stage wins went to Sainz/Cruz, four to Al-Attiyah/Gottschalk, one to Miller/Pitchford. So challenging proved the 32nd running of the Dakar Rally: In addition to the varied stages across soft, in part powder-like sand and through towering and endless dune fields of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile there were also gravel sections and tracks through enormous boulder fields on the agenda. The multi-faceted acid test with its terrain changing several times a day, two Andes crossings, passages through the world’s driest desert, the Atacama, as well as parts of the legendary Pampa.

For the new “Dakar” champions Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz a winning streak continued in front of millions of fans lining the daily stages in Argentina and Chile. As newly formed duo in the Volkswagen Race Touareg the Spanish pair remained unbeaten in their third competition together and secured a new superlative in “Dakar” history: Never before have two Spaniards won the legendary desert rally’s automobile category.

VW Touareg – The New Cool Spot 2009

December 20th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

VW Touareg – The new cool promotional video


VW Touareg – Baja race

December 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

VW’s history in the Baja race, plus the new Touareg blasting through the dunes


VW Amarok official support vehicle for 2010 Dakar Rally

November 18th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

VW Amarok concept fq

Volkswagen has just announced that 20 of its its upcoming Amarok utilities will be acting as support vehicles for the 2010 Dakar Rally, with a further 15 acting as press and shuttle vehicles.

The Dakar Rally will be the production Amarok’s first appearance, before launching in South America, Europe and the rest of the world including NZ.

Volkswagen will use the event to put the Amarok through some final endurance testing and while it won’t be competing, it must still be able to handle the same rough terrain.

In terms of competing, Volkswagen will be entering four Race Touareg teams in the event, which travels 9000km through Argentina and Chile.

“The Volkswagen Amarok is Volkswagen’s answer to the pickup and on the Dakar Rally it will have the chance to show what it’s made of and to demonstrate its flexibility and durability”, said Stephan Schaller, CEO of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

“Moreover, the Volkswagen Amarok is built in Argentina and South America is one of the most important markets for this product, so taking part in the 2010 Dakar Rally was an absolute must for us”, stresses Schaller.

Volkswagen has been clear about its intent to take down Toyota as the world’s number one carmaker. With the German carmaker recently outdoing its Japanese competitor for production numbers (read news), the battle is sure to heat up when the Amarok faces off against the established HiLux.

Volkswagen creates world’s first hybrid SUV

February 3rd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid

Volkswagen is busy presenting a prototype of the future Touareg V6 TSI Hybrid. This car will enter production in 2010 as the world’s first hybrid SUV to have 3.5 metric ton towing capacity. Volkswagen is introducing one of the highest performance parallel hybrid systems in the world in this SUV. The German carmaker is utilising the alliance of a V6 TSI (245 kW) boosted by supercharger and an electric motor (38 kW). Up to a speed of 50 km/h, the Touareg V6 TSI Hybrid can be driven by just the electric motor. In this case, no emissions are generated.

The Touareg Hybrid prototype currently being demonstrated apparently incorporates many features of the future production vehicle. The car is powered by a new V6 TSI — a highly advanced configuration of a direct injection gasoline engine boosted by a mechanically-driven supercharger — in tandem with an electric motor. It features a newly developed 8-speed automatic transmission. The SUV is able to offer a new all-wheel drive system and up to 3.5 metric tons towing capacity.

When used in the hybrid drive, fuel consumption of less than 9.0 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers is attained. The electric motor installed between the V6 TSI and the 8-speed automatic transmission delivers a maximum power of 38 kW / 52 PS. In boosting mode — where maximum torque and power are required, the V6 TSI engine and the electric motor operate together (by kickdown or gearshift selector in “S” position). Under these conditions, a temporary maximum power of 275 kW is available with a maximum torque of 550 Nm.

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