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Volkwagen Touareg

Volkswagen has released the first details about its new SUV Touareg, which is a close sister to Porsche Cayenne. The Touagreg's chassis and advanced 4-wheel-drive are developed by Porsche. They are together built in the same plant in Eastern Germany to share cost. However, Touareg will have Volkswagen's own engines, including:

- 175hp 2.5-litre inline-5 turbo diesel;
- 220hp 3.2-litre narrow-angle V6 (from Beetle RSi);
- 310hp 4.2-litre V8 (from Audi);
- 313hp / 553lbft V10 turbo diesel (share with Phaeton)

Later, a 420hp 6.0-litre W12 (from A8 and Phaeton) will be added as well.

Like the Cayenne, it will have the ZF 6-speed automatic with Tiptronic mode for most models, but the 2.5TDI and 3.2 petrol will get optional 6-speed manual from Volkswagen's own parts bin to compensate for the lack of power.

The Touareg will compete with high-end BMW X5 and Mercedes ML-class, with a dimension slightly larger than the X5. Its wider track and lower center of gravity (as well as Porsche's tuning) ensure better on-road dynamics, while sophisticated suspensions and 4WD system should scare its rivals offroad too. Like Phaeton, it has air-sprung suspensions with automatic ride-height adjustment (according to speed and road conditions) and continuous adaptive damping. The 4WD system - by Porsche - employs electronic-controlled multi-plate clutch to split the optimum amount of torque between front and rear axles to maximize traction, depends on needs. In extreme case, all 3 differentials are lockable by manual switch. This is by far more sophisticated than any other 4WD system currently offering in other SUVs.

However, the software of the Volkswagen has been tuned to be less rear-bias than Cayenne, hence safer handling characteristic, if less exciting, than the Porsche. The flagship Cayenne also offers more power (450hp) than the top Touareg, therefore Porsche sees little competition between them.
 

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