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Volkswagen Touareg
Facelifted first-generation Volkswagen Touareg North Sails (Europe)
Manufacturer Volkswagen AG
Parent company Volkswagen Group
Production 2002–present
Assembly Bratislava, Slovakia
Kaluga, Russia
Class Mid-size luxury crossover SUV
Body style(s) 5-door SUV
Layout Longitudinal front engine,
four-wheel drive
Platform Volkswagen Group PL71 platform

The Volkswagen Touareg (pronounced "twah-regg") is a mid-size crossover SUV produced by German automaker Volkswagen since 2002. It was the third sport utility vehicle from the automaker, after the much older Volkswagen 181 "Kurierwagen", and the Iltis (later produced by Bombardier). One even holds the world record for the heaviest load towed by a passenger car, pulling a Boeing 747 as part of an advertising campaign.[1]


The correct German pronunciation is [ˈtuːaʁɛɡ]. Volkswagen produced several commercials to assist people in using the correct pronunciation. The vehicle was named after the Tuareg people, a Berber-speaking group in North Africa.[2] The name Touareg was first used for an automobile with the 1996 Peugeot Touareg concept car.


The Touareg (internally designated Typ 7L) was a joint venture project developed by Volkswagen Group, who also include Audi, and Porsche, who were also looking to add a luxury-type SUV to its lineup, as a cost-sharing initiative. The goal was to create an off-road vehicle that could handle like a sports car. The team, with over 300 people, was led by Klaus-Gerhard Wolpert, and based in Porsche main base Weissach im Tal, Germany. The result of the joint project is that the Porsche Cayenne shares the Touareg's Volkswagen Group PL71 platform, although there are styling, equipment, and technical differences between the two vehicles.

The Volkswagen Touareg is built in Bratislava, Slovakia. The manufacturing plant shares production with Touareg-cousins, the Porsche Cayenne, and the Audi Q7. Due to the demand, and the exchange rates of euros against the US dollar, as well as different pricing and environmental policies in the USA, the V6 and V8 engine variants make up most of Volkswagen's American Touareg offering. However, a limited number of the V10 Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engines were available in the 2004 model year (before being pulled for environmental reasons). They were brought back to the United States for the 2006 as a "Tier I emissions concept (43 state emissions)".[3]

First generation

First generation
Pre-facelift first-generation Volkswagen Touareg (Europe)
Production 2002-2010
Engine(s) 3.2 L 241 PS V6
3.6 L 280 PS V6
4.2 L 310 PS V8
6.0 L 450 PS W12
2.5 L 172 PS I5 TDI
3.0 L 222/240 PS V6 TDI
4.2 L V8 TDI
5.0 L 313 PS V10 TDI
Transmission(s) 6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,855 mm (112.4 in)
Length 4,754 mm (187.2 in)
Width 1,928 mm (75.9 in)
Height 1,726 mm (68.0 in)
Related Porsche Cayenne
Audi Q7

The Touareg comes standard with four-wheel drive system. An automatic progressively locking centre differential (with manual override), and a "low range" setting that can be activated with in-cabin controls. Options to make the vehicles more capable off-road include an available air suspension system which can raise the car's ride height on command, and an interior switch allowing the rear differential to be manually locked. Its load level ground clearance is at 6.3 in (160 mm) , Off Road Level is at 9.6 in (244 mm) , and Xtra clearance of 11.8 in (300 mm).[3]



Petrol engines
Model Year Engine type Power, torque @ rpm
3.2 V6 2002–2004 3,189 cc (194.6 cu in) V6 220 PS (162 kW/217 bhp)
3.6 V6 2004–2006 3,597 cc (219.5 cu in) V6 241 PS (177 kW/238 bhp)
4.2 V8 2002–2006 4,163 cc (254.0 cu in) V8 310 PS (228 kW/306 bhp)
6.0 W12 2005- 5,998 cc (366.0 cu in) W12 450 PS (331 kW/444 bhp), 600 N·m (443 ft·lbf)
Diesel engines
Model Year Engine type Power, torque @ rpm
2.5 R5 TDI 2003- 2,460 cc (150.1 cu in) I5 Turbo 174 PS (128 kW/172 bhp), 400 N·m (295 ft·lbf)
3.0 V6 TDI 2004–2007 2,967 cc (181.1 cu in) V6 Turbo 225 PS (165 kW/222 bhp)
5.0 V10 TDI 2002-2007? 4,921 cc (300.3 cu in) V10 Turbo 313 PS (230 kW/309 bhp) @3750, 750 N·m (553 ft·lbf) @2000

The 5.0 litre single overhead camshaft (SOHC), 20-valve V10 Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine pushes the Touareg from standstill to 100 kilometres per hour (62.1 mph) in 6.7 seconds, and on to 260 kilometres per hour (160 mph) maximum.

The 6.0 liter double overhead camshaft (DOHC), 48-valve W12 engined version was initially intended to be a limited-edition model, with just 500 units planned to be produced; around 330 were slated for sale in Saudi Arabia, with the remainder sold in Europe. No sales in the United States were made. Eventually, the W12 model became an ordinary model without any production restrictions. Currently it is being sold in Europe. It is estimated to reach 100 kilometres per hour (62.1 mph) in 5.9 seconds.[4]

V10 TDI (2002-)

The V10 TDI was offered in the United States for a limited time in 2004, but emissions regulations forced it off the market for a temporary period.[5]

The V10 TDI returned to the U.S. market as 2006 model year vehicle in 5 states. Later US models went on sale in 2006, which was compliant with 50 states emission with Ultra-low sulfur diesel and particulate filter. The 2006 US model's MSRP was $67,750.[6] Stricter California Air Resources Board (CARB) emissions standards resulted in the V10 TDI being cancelled again in the United States.[7] This has since been replaced by a V6 TDI engine that meets the CARB's minimum emission requirements for the 2009 model year.

V10 TDI Criticism

The V10 TDI diesel version of the Touareg was named "the Meanest Vehicle for the Environment in 2007" by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE)[8] for its fuel economy of 17 miles per US gallon city (12 l/100 km) and 24 mpg highway (10 l/100 km). This earned the Touareg the low "Green Score" of 14, as compared to the Honda Civic GX, which was the "greenest", at a score of 57.


The Touareg was Car and Driver magazine's Best Luxury SUV for 2003, Motor Trend magazine's Sport/Utility of the Year for 2004, "Four Wheeler" magazine's Four Wheeler of the Year for 2005, and Overlander's 2003 4WDOTY.

Facelift 2007

Facelifted Volkswagen Touareg (US)

The Touareg's first facelift was unveiled at the 2006 Paris Motor Show, and debuted in North America as a 2008 model. It now features the shield grille from others in the Volkswagen Passenger Cars range. The updated Touareg has more than 2300 redesigned parts and boasts some new technological features:

  • ABS Plus, which works in conjunction with the traction control system, and shortens the braking distance by up to 25% on loose surfaces;
  • Front Scan, an adaptive cruise control system, which can slow or even stop the car depending on traffic conditions;
  • Side Scan, a blind-spot warning system: it uses radar at the rear of the car to sense another car's presence, and causes light-emitting diodes (LEDs) built into the wing mirrors to flash. If the driver indicates to move out, the LEDs flash at an accelerated rate to warn the driver until the other vehicle moves out of the Touareg's field of vision.

The 2007 Touareg, alongside an already lengthy options list, could be equipped with a driving dynamics package, a rollover sensor, a 620 watt Dynaudio sound system, and redesigned comfort seats. All diesel versions now have the diesel particulate filter standard.

In the US and Canada, the facelifted Touareg is marketed as the Touareg 2 for the 2008 model year, reverting to simply Touareg in 2009.

R50 (2007-)

Volkswagen Touareg R50

The Touareg R50 is the third Volkswagen after the Golf and Passat to be given the 'R' treatment by Volkswagen Individual GmbH. The R50 global launch was at the 2007 Australian International Motor Show.

The "R50" naming comes from the engine displacement: 5.0L. The R50 is offered with a 5.0-litre V10 diesel engine, available in Europe, boasting 257 kilowatts (349 PS/345 bhp) with 850 newton metres (627 ft·lbf) of torque, and pushing the car to 100 kilometres per hour (62.1 mph) in just 6.7 seconds.[9]

The R50 comes standard with 21 inch Omanyt wheels, sport-tuned air suspension, decorative 'engine spin' finish interior trim inlays, and a 4-Zone Climatronic climate control system.

V6 TDI (2007-)

It is a version of V6 TDI with improved performance.

The vehicle went on sale in Germany with MSRP of €46,900 (manual), €49,150 (automatic).[10]

Volkswagen-Red Bull Baja Race Touareg TDI (2008)

It is a race vehicle designed for the Baja 1000 series. It included a 5.5L V12 clean diesel engine with dual Garrett TR30R turbochargers rated 550 PS (405 kW/542 bhp) and 850 N·m (627 ft·lbf), Xtrac 6 Speed Sequential transmission, 9" rear axle, Fox Racing Shocks, KMC 17" Custom Forged Beadlock wheels with BFGoodrich Baja KRT 37x13.5x17 tires, Lowrance 9200 GPS, Sparco Carbon Fiber Racing seats. It uses mid-engine, rear wheel drive layout. The chassis and body were designed by Arciero Miller Racing and Volkswagen Design Center California respectively.

The vehicle was unveiled in 2008 LA Auto Show.[11]

V6 TDI Clean Diesel (2009-)

It is a version of V6 TDI with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system, replacing V10 TDI in US and Canada. The Touareg contains a 4.5 US gallon (17 l; 3.7 imp gal) tank in the rear of the vehicle underneath the spare tire which stores the AdBlue solution. It is estimated that this tank will need to be replenished every 6,000–10,000 miles (9,700–16,000 km). The Touareg does not include NOX storage catalyst found in Jetta Clean Diesel TDI due to its heavy weight.[12]

Touareg BlueTDI was unveiled in 2007 Geneva Motor Show.[13] Production version of V6 TDI Clean Diesel was unveiled in 2008 LA Auto Show.[14]

Although sales of production version was planned in North America in 2008, it did not start until 2009.

Sander Kuiken, Technical development diesel application, Volkswagen AG was one of the engineers that worked on the AdBlue system created by Volkswagen, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. Kuiken talked about the difference between the VW Touareg diesel and gasoline vehicles.[15]

Touareg V6 TSI Hybrid (2009)

It is a prototype hybrid vehicle with 2,995 cubic centimetres (182.8 cu in) V6 petrol engine with a 'Twin Vortices Series' (TVS) supercharger rated 333 metric horsepower (245 kW/328 bhp) at 5500 rpm and 440 newton metres (320 ft·lbf) at 3000 rpm, an electric motor rated 52 metric horsepower (38 kW/51 bhp) and 300 newton metres (220 ft·lbf), 8-speed automatic transmission. It has combined ratings of 374 metric horsepower (275 kW/369 bhp) and 550 newton metres (410 ft·lbf). The electric-motor is powered by 240-cell, 288V, 6Ah nickel metal-hydride battery array. The 4motion four-wheel drive system was replaced by a lighter Torsen centre differential from Audi Q7 to save weight. The electric motor has the top speed of 50 kilometres per hour (31 mph). Start-stop system supports regenerative braking, coasting. Power steering, air conditioning were changed to be powered by battery.

Planned production version includes special E-switch that the driver can activate for pure electric driving, 160 kilometres per hour (99 mph) coasting speed.[16]


Petrol engines
model years engine type power@rpm torque@rpm
3.6 V6 2006- 3,597 cc (219.5 cu in) V6 FSI 280 PS (206 kW/276 bhp) @6250 360 N·m (266 ft·lbf) @2500-5000
4.2 V8 2006- 4,163 cc (254.0 cu in) V8 FSI 350 PS (257 kW/345 bhp) @6800 440 N·m (325 ft·lbf) @3500
6.0 W12 2005- 5,998 cc (366.0 cu in) W12 450 PS (331 kW/444 bhp) @6000 600 N·m (443 ft·lbf) @3250
Diesel engines
model years engine type power@rpm torque@rpm
2.5 R5 TDI 2003- 2,461 cc (150.2 cu in) I5 Pumpe-Düse turbo 174 PS (128 kW/172 bhp) @3500 400 N·m (295 ft·lbf) @2250
3.0 V6 TDI 2007- 2,967 cc (181.1 cu in) V6 common rail turbo 240 PS (177 kW/237 bhp) @4000-4400 500 N·m (369 ft·lbf) @1500-3000 manual,
550 N·m (406 ft·lbf) @2000-2250 automatic
BlueMotion 3.0 V6 TDI 2009- 2,967 cc (181.1 cu in) V6 common rail turbo 225 PS (165 kW/222 bhp) @3500 550 N·m (406 ft·lbf) @2000-2250
5.0 V10 TDI 2002- 4,921 cc (300.3 cu in) V10 Pumpe-Düse turbo 313 PS (230 kW/309 bhp) @3750 850 N·m (627 ft·lbf) @2000
R50 2007- 4,921 cc (300.3 cu in) V10 Pumpe-Düse turbo 350 PS (257 kW/345 bhp) @3500 850 N·m (627 ft·lbf) @2000

US models include 3.6 V6, 4.2 V8, BlueMotion 3.0 V6 TDI. Canada models include 3.6 V6, BlueMotion 3.0 V6 TDI.

BlueMotion 3.0 V6 TDI was sold as V6 TDI Clean Diesel in US and Canada.


Petrol engines
Model Year Transmission type
3.6 V6 2006- 6-speed automatic
4.2 V8 2006- 6-speed automatic
6.0 W12 2005- 6-speed automatic
Diesel engines
Model Year Transmission type
2.5 R5 TDI 2003- 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
3.0 V6 TDI 2007- 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
BlueMotion 3.0 V6 TDI 2009- 6-speed automatic
5.0 V10 TDI 2002- 6-speed automatic
R50 2007- 6-speed automatic


The chassis of Volkswagen-Red Bull Baja Race Touareg TDI was produced by Arciero Miller Racing in Foothill Ranch, California.

Although Volkswagen originally had planned to introduce a range of hybrid models including in its entry level vehicles, the company stopped the plan for low end hybrids after the company's CEO had been changed to Martin Winterkorn. However, the change of plan did not affect Touareg hybrid, because Touareg luxury SUV can more easily absorb the additional cost and is a better candidate for improved fuel economy.[17]

Second generation

Second generation(7P5)
[[File:2011 Volkswagen Touareg (US)|frameless|upright=1.25|alt=]]
Production 2010-
Engine(s) 3.0L Diesel V6
3.0L Supercharged V6
3.6L V6
4.2L Diesel V8
Transmission(s) 8-speed automatic
Wheelbase 113.9 in (2893 mm)
Length 188.8 in (4796 mm)
Width 76.4 in (1941 mm)
Height 67.3 in (1709 mm)
Related Porsche Cayenne

Second generation(Typ 7P5) was revealed on February 10, 2010 in Munich.[18]


The new Touareg features a world first in automotive headlight technology: the "glare-free high beam".[19] ("Dynamic Light Assist"[18] at Volkswagen). Unlike an adaptive highbeam system, the newest system continually and gradually adjusts not only the range of the high-beam, but also its pattern.[20] The beam pattern changes its direction continually so that vehicles in front are not being illuminated, while the area surrounding them is being constantly illuminated at high beam intensity.[21]


  • Adaptive cruise control with Stop&go function
  • Lane departure warning system: Lane Assist
  • Blind Spot Monitor: Side Assist
  • Precrash system for front (with full automatic emergency braking): Front Assist[22]
  • Area View with four cameras
  • Adaptive Air Suspension with continuous damping control (CDC) and Adaptive Roll Compensation
  • Mandatory Aisin eight-speed automatic transmission[23]


Petrol engine
Model Engine Displacement Power Torque 0–100 km/h Top speed Note CO2 emission (g/km)
V6 BlueMotion Technology V6 3597 cc 280 PS (206 kW/276 hp) @6200 rpm 360 N·m (266 lb·ft) @3200 rpm 7,8 228 km/h (142 mph) 236
3.0 Hybrid V6 2995 cc 333 PS (245 kW/328 hp) @5500–6500 rpm 440 N·m (325 lb·ft) @3000–5250 rpm 6,5 240 km/h (149 mph) 193
Diesel engine
Model Engine Displacement Power Torque 0–100 km/h Top speed Note CO2 emission (g/km)
V6 TDI BlueMotion Technology V6 2967 cc 240 PS (177 kW/237 hp) @4000-4400 rpm 550 N·m (406 lb·ft) @2000-2250 rpm 7,8 218 km/h (135 mph) 195
V8 TDI V8 4134 cc 340 PS (250 kW/335 hp) @4000 rpm 800 N·m (590 lb·ft) @1750-2750 rpm 5,8 242 km/h (150 mph) 239


A modified Touareg dubbed Stanley won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge.

Pikes Peak

VW Touareg TDI entered the 85th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, with V10 TDI Touaregs and a V6 TDI Touareg, driven by Ryan Arciero, Mike Miller and Chris Blais. Arciero won the race with a time of 13:17:703 and set a new division record for the fastest time with a diesel powered vehicle. Miller finished in 2nd with a time of 13:25:247. Chris Blais finished in 3rd with a time of 15:48:312.[24]

Baja 500

The 2.5L R5 TDI won a 2007 Baja 500 class with drivers Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/South Africa).[25]

Baja 1000

The Race Touareg TDI Trophy Truck completed 41st Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 race with 13th position for Trophy Truck Class. The vehicle was driven by Mark Miller.[26]

Dakar rally

2007 Edition Race Touareg 2 at Essen Motor Show 2006

In the 2003 Dakar rally raid, Volkswagen entered a team of rear wheel drive Tarek buggies.[27] VW claimed 6th overall, driven by Stephane Henrard and co-driver Bobby Willis. In the following year, the 2004 Dakar Rally saw the debut rally for the T2 class purpose built Race Touareg by Volkswagen Motorsport.[27] Bruno Saby and co driver Matthew Stevenson claimed 6th position overall. In the 2005 Dakar Rally, Jutta Kleinschmidt and co driver Fabrizia Pons claimed 3rd spot overall in the Race Touareg.[28]

In the 2006 Dakar Rally, VW driver Giniel de Villiers and co driver Tina Thorner claimed 2nd spot the highest ever for a diesel model in the new Race Touareg 2. It has a shorter wheelbase than the original Race Touareg, as well as increased visibility.[28] For the 2007 Dakar Rally, VW driver Mark Miller and Ralph Pitchford drove the Race Touareg 2 to 4th position overall. In the 2008 Central Europe Rally, Carlos Sainz drove his Race Touareg 2 to victory.[29] Finally, in the 2009 edition of Rally Dakar, Volkswagen achieved a one-two result. Giniel de Villiers and co driver Dirk von Zitzewitz won the race ahead of Mark Miller and Ralph Pitchford. With just two days to go, Carlos Sainz crashed out after dominating the rally for several days, thus preventing Volkswagen from making it a one-two-three result.[30]

A 1/32 slot car model of the Red Bull-sponsored Touareg, which is designed to run on the company's RAID track (which simulates off-road racing) is available from Ninco.

Power Output: VW Dakar Racers

  • 2007 Race-Touareg 2 (T2 spec) 2.5 TDI 285 hp/209 kW
  • 2006 Race-Touareg 2 (T2 spec) 2.5 TDI 275 hp/202 kW
  • 2005 Race-Touareg (T2 spec) 2.5 TDI 260 hp/191 kW
  • 2004 Race-Touareg (T2 spec) 2.3 TDI 231 hp/170 kW
  • 2003 Tarek 1.9 TDI 218 hp/160 kW


  1. Neff, John (2006-11-22). "Touareg V10 TDI tows a 747 — Autoblog". Retrieved on 2011-01-17.
  2. ORLANDO SENTINEL. Test Drive: Touareg's real nice, except for the price. Retrieved on June 2010
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Touareg - Complete Specs (USA)". Retrieved on 2009-04-30.
  4. "Super Touareg", Autoweek, 4 October, 2004. Retrieved on 2008-05-27
  5. "Auto Tech: Pumpe Duse". CanadianDriver Communications Inc.,. (29 September 2004). Retrieved on 4 November 2009.
  6. Abuelsamid, Sam (2006-10-19). "2006 VW Touareg diesel now on sale with a particulate filter". Retrieved on 2010-10-09.
  7. Abuelsamid, Sam (2008-10-27). "In the Autoblog Garage: 2008 Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI". Retrieved on 2009-07-14.
  8. "The Green Book of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy 2007". Retrieved on 2010-10-09.
  9. "VW Releases Details On 350Hp Touareg R50 - Carscoop". Retrieved on 2009-04-30.
  10. Navarro, Xavier (2007-11-21). "Volkswagen improves the Touareg TDI". Retrieved on 2010-10-09.
  11. Blanco, Sebastian (2008-11-13). "LA Preview: Volkswagen unveiling Touareg TDI Trophy Truck". Retrieved on 2010-10-09.
  12. Lou Ann Hammond (2008-12-09). "2009 VW Touareg TDI is a clean diesel, retrieved 12-Dec-08". Retrieved on 2010-10-09.
  13. Blanco, Sebastian (2007-03-06). "More pictures and details of VW's Touareg BlueTDI in Geneva". Retrieved on 2010-10-09.
  14. Abuelsamid, Sam (2008-11-20). "LA 2008: Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDI, 25 mpg highway". Retrieved on 2010-10-09.
  15. Ann, Lou (2008-12-09). "Sander Kuiken, VW, gasoline vs. diesel | Lou Ann Hammond on". Retrieved on 2009-04-30.
  16. Abuelsamid, Sam (2009-02-02). "Volkswagen to launch Touareg BlueMotion hybrid in 2010". Retrieved on 2010-10-09.
  17. Muldoon, Dane (2007-02-01). "Volkswagen ditches low end hybrids, Touareg gets the nod". Retrieved on 2010-10-09.
  18. 18.0 18.1 "New Touareg takes the SUV idea into the future". Retrieved on 17 February 2010.
  19. "Lighting technology". Retrieved on 17 February 2010.
  20. "2011 Volkswagen Touareg". Retrieved on 17 February 2010.
  21. "Mobileye & Visteon". Retrieved on 18 February 2010.
  22. "To the Point: The New Touareg. Volkswagen SUV is one of the safest automobiles of all times". Retrieved on 2 June 2010.
  23. "2011 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid First Drive". Retrieved on 18 May 2010.
  24. Abuelsamid, Sam (2007-07-26). "VW Touareg TDI wins Pikes Peak high performance showroom stock". Retrieved on 2010-10-09.
  25. Abuelsamid, Sam (2007-05-06). "VW Race Touareg wins Baja 500 class on single tank of diesel". Retrieved on 2010-10-09.
  26. Korzeniewski, Jeremy (2008-11-24). "VW Touareg TDI Trophy Truck finishes Baja in 13th place". Retrieved on 2010-10-09.
  27. 27.0 27.1 "2004 Volkswagen Race-Touareg T2 - Images, Specifications and Information". (2004-01-18). Retrieved on 2010-10-09.
  28. 28.0 28.1 "2006 Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 - Images, Specifications and Information". (2005-12-05). Retrieved on 2010-10-09.
  29. "News channel". (2008-04-26). Retrieved on 2010-10-09.
  30. "Volkswagen final report". (2009-01-18). Retrieved on 2010-10-09.

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