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This is a followup of wmquan's post in the general discussions:

Volkswagen has publically released the first four official photos of its Touareg sport utility vehicle due to be introduced this fall at the Paris Auto Show.

Volkswagen and Porsche jointly developed their SUV projects together to help defray development costs and pool resources. The Touareg utilizes the same basic platform and AWD system as the Porsche Cayenne, but has its own distinctive (and far better looking) sheetmetal. Although deceiving at first look, the Touareg is larger than photos would suggest: 76 inches wide and 67.7 inches tall, with a wheelbase of 112.6 inches. The overall length of the Touareg is 187 inches. Compared to the BMW X5 4.6is the Touareg sits 4 inches longer, 2 inches wider, with a wheelbase 1.5 inches longer and a mere half inch difference in height.

The all-wheel-drive system is also all-new as both companies wanted a vehicle that is as capable off-road as it is on the road. The fully electronic AWD system utilizes electronically controlled differentials that can be programmed to respond to both pre-mapped preferences (say a 30/70 front to rear wheel drive bias) and to varying conditions of both slip and driver demands. For instance if full throttle is applied from a stop, the system will use actual throttle measurement to apply more torque to the rear wheels in anticipation of front slip (as opposed to a system that must detect slip first before diverting power or locking differentials). The system will still detect slip though and divert more power to the wheels that need it most. The system employs an inter-axle differential lock and also has a true low-range gear set for those demanding conditions that warrant it. Towing capacity is 7,716 lbs and Volkswagen claims more than 11 inches of ground clearance and the ability to ford through water up to 23 inches deep.






The AWD system in the Porsche will reportedly be set with more rear power bias than in the Volkswagen application to give it more traditional Porsche handling and power characteristics. However, the Volkswagen application will reportedly be more suited to hard-core off-road usage due to different programming of the AWD system electronics and its more neutral handling characteristics. Both models will be highly capable off-roaders according to engineers from VW and Porsche as they benchmarked the Touareg and Cayenne against all major competitors available including Jeep, Mercedes, BMW, GMC and others.

At the German market launch, the Touareg will be available with a 3.2-liter VR6 engine and a 5.0 litre V10 TDI engine. The VR6 engine has a power output of 220 bhp and develops up to 225 lbs-ft of torque. The world's most powerful passenger car diesel engine is the V10 TDI with unit injectors and bi-turbo charging. It has a power output of 313 bhp and develops an impressive 551 lbs-ft of torque at 1800 rpm. Two other engines will be added to the lineup at a later date: a new five-cylinder TDI with 2.5 litres displacement and a 4.2-litre V8 petrol engine. Six-speed gearboxes are fitted as standard - the choice between automatic and manual is determined by the engine size. With the automatic gearboxes, the driver can use DSP (dynamic shift programme) the Tiptronic gear lever, or, if fitted, the steering wheel paddles, to influence gear shifting. Here in North America the Touareg will be offered initially with the 3.2l VR6 and 4.2l V8. Neither vehicle will offer a manual six-speed transmission here in North America.

The Touareg is likely to be introduced for the North American market at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit next year and expected to start at around $35,000 for the V6 model when it arrives. We'll have a full preview including drive impressions later this summer.
 

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Kind of looks like a stationwagon jacked up.
The interior looks good though.

I wish MDX came in a color like that blue. I know BMW and AUdi also offer it.
 

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Sounds like an impressive machine
 

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7716 lbs of towing? must be with the V10 TDI.

It looks better than the Porsche from the front, and the back.

Interior is sweet.
 

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I don't like it that much.
The interior is great, I really like the way it looks but I hate the exterior. The front looks like a bloated passat and the back looks like a streched Volvo V40. But its impossible not to love the idea of a v10 in an SUV. I like the Porshe a lot more because......well, because its a Porsche, even though I think it looks dull. I don't think VW should try to get into the SUV market with a midsize luxury SUV, nor should they be trying to do the whole ultra luxury thing with the Phaeton.



"02 Mahogany MDX w/lotsa stuff,

Another one, the same but in Mesa Biege.
 

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I never thought the Passat would make it in the luxury market. But it all changed when I sat in my brother's 2000 Passat. Thinking Acura did the best bang for the buck, Passat goes a step above. Some of the amenities include real wood dash, beautiful gauges/lights, great design on steering wheel controls, ACed/Heated glove compartment for soda and coffee, heavy/solid/sealed doors. If you sit in one, you'll know what I mean...
 

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MDXtrous is right on. The interior of the VW/Audi line is top quality, and the more I look at this one, the more I like it. The simplicity of the Passat but rugged-izing it a bit. It's like taking the Allroad 1 step further...
 

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Front looks OK, back is not ugly but not inspiring. Specs look good. I think the interior looks decent but not exciting. I am not a big fan of grey leather with wood - I think brushed aluminum/stainless is a much better choice. Somehow, the interior doesn't quite look finished to me.
 

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VW interiors have been great, on a par or exceeding "near-luxury" counterparts. The Touareg's interior should be of higher-quality than the current MDX's interior.

I wouldn't worry about the gray leather. Unlike Honda/Acura, VW usually provides a nice range of exterior colors with a variety of leather color combos.

The primary drawback of this vehicle will be the relatively low amount of cargo space. Allegedly 19.5 cubes behind the second row seat, 55.4 with the second row folded down. That's less than a lot of compact SUV's!

On the other hand, this vehicle seems more of a purposeful off-roader and there's a good market for that.

Dunno if that diesel will make it to the U.S. Too bad, because supposedly in 2003 there'll be a W12 version of it with 420hp and incredible torque numbers!

0-100kph reported as 7.6 seconds for the Euro-spec diesel, top speed of 228kph.

0-100kph reported at 9.7 seconds for the V6, top speed of 208 kph.
 

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Looks like a combinbation of my wife's MDX and my allroad. Just don't buy it the first year it is out. VW/Audi does a great job at engineering but the first year build quality could be better. I have owned many Honda/Acura products the first year of a new model and never had a problem. ('90 Accord, '94 Integra GS-R, '94 Accord, '98 Accord, '01 MDX) However, my '96 Audi A4 (1st year in US) was a nightmare but my '98 A4 was flawless through 150k miles. A friend owned a '98 Passat (1st year of new platform) and it fell apart. My 2000 Passat was great through 80k. So, IMO, drive your MDX another year before you even consider getting the VW.
 

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VW Colors Ext/Int

I wouldn't worry about the gray leather. Unlike Honda/Acura, VW usually provides a nice range of exterior colors with a variety of leather color combos.

Having just bought a Passat GLX last Saturday, the ext. colors available are great, but unless you order the vehicle(4-6 mo) it is very difficult to get the Ext/Int color combo that you prefer. We tried to avoid the tan leather (I think it is too orange) and that ruled out a lot of exterior colors for us. Grey looks strange w/ the rest of the dash which is black (no matter what the interior color is). Maybe this is just the way the dealers are in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area - but they explained this as a VW issue. We ended up with a Blue Silver w/ Black Leather. :D (I get to drive our MDX so I'm :D :D :D )

I think VW quality is great, but I would not buy the first model year of any car.
 

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Congratulations on your new Passat! I agree that the black interior is the best choice on a VW since the dash is always black as you mentioned. My '00 Passat GLX Wagon had a black interior and I was very happy with it. I also have a black interior on my gray allroad. The only drawback is our yellow lab that sheds nonstop. We don't notice it as much in our black MDX with the beige "saddle" interior. As for the exterior, VW/Audi provides excellent paint quality. No matter what glaze/wax/polish I use on the MDX I can't get it look as good as my Audi. Also, I would have preferred less "orange peel" on the rear quarter panels of our MDX.
 
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