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Volkswagen unveils cleaner, leaner Touareg

The all-new Touareg has been unveiled - a car which Volkswagen says is up to 200kg lighter and up to 20% more fuel efficient than the model it replaces.

It's sharper, cleaner and yet, in Hybrid form, able to out-accelerate many hot hatches while returning 34mpg on the combined cycle, claims the carmaker.

The overall length and wheelbase of the Touareg have each grown by 40mm to measure 4,758 mm and 2,900mm respectively, while its width remains as at 1,928mm, but the overall height drops by 20mm to 1,724mm.

Standard examples of the new Touareg will feature an eight-speed transmission as well as, on the majority of models, start stop technology, touchscreen satellite navigation and leather upholstery.

In addition, a choice of new options can be specified including high beam assist that automatically dips the headlights when it senses oncoming traffic, side assist to warn of vehicles occupying blind spots, adaptive roll compensation air suspension and air conditioned, massaging seats.

However, at the heart of the new Touareg is a range of petrol and diesel engines and, for the first time, a Hybrid.

The hybrid brings together a 3.3-litre supercharged V6 petrol engine producing 333PS and 265lbs ft of torque and an electric motor generating 47PS, resulting in a total output of 380PS and 428lbs ft of torque. The electric motor can also operate independently of the combustion engine making it a full hybrid.

On electric power alone it is capable of travelling at speeds of up to 30mph. Alternatively, the electric motor can supplement the V6 engine to provide a useful boost during overtaking manoeuvres and allows it to accelerate from rest to 62 mph in 6.5 seconds before reaching a top speed of 149 mph.

The entry-level engine and the likely volume seller, according to Volkswagen, is a 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine generating 240PS and 405lbs ft of torque while returning 38.1mpg and emitting 195g/km of CO2 to place it in VED band J.

A new 4.2-litre TDI V8 engine producing 340PS and 590lbs ft of torque sits at the top of the new Touareg range. Despite its substantial power and torque outputs the new engine is still capable of achieving 31mpg on the combined cycle while emitting 239g/km of CO2.

Production of the new Touareg for the UK market starts in June before first deliveries commence in August. Prices and specifications will be announced nearer this time.

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