This is the second generation VW Touareg, which is lighter, more fuel efficient and cleaner than the original SUV to bear the name launched in 2003. The big news is that the Touareg range includes a hybrid model, Volkswagen’s first production hybrid.

The Touareg Hybrid combines a 3.3-litre supercharged V6 petrol engine producing 328 bhp and 360 Nm of torque and an electric motor generating 46 bhp, resulting in a total output of 374 bhp and 580 Nm. The electric motor can operate independently of the combustion engine, making the Touareg a full hybrid. On electric power alone the new Touareg is capable of travelling at speeds of up to 50 km/h, but most of the time it supplements the V6 to provide more grunt -the Touareg Hybrid does 0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds before reaching a top speed of 240 km/h. On the combined cycle, fuel consumption is 12 km/l.

The entry-level engine and the likely volume seller is a 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine generating 237 bhp and 550 Nm while returning 13.5 km/l and emitting 195 g/km of CO2. A new 4.2-litre TDI V8 engine producing 335 bhp and a massive 800 Nm of torque sits at the top of the range.

VW says that the new models are up to 20 per cent more fuel efficient than the cars they replace, also thanks to a weight reduction of 200 kg, a new eight-speed automatic and Start/Stop technology. The new body also has a lower drag coefficient. Overall length and wheelbase of the Touareg have each grown by 40 mm to measure 4,758 mm and 2,900 mm respectively. Width remains at 1,928 mm while overall height drops by 20 mm to 1,724 mm.

The new car is easily recognisable as a Touareg from the outside, even though it features VW’s new family face. The all-new cabin looks good too, and while it remains a five-seater, rear room is claimed to have grown significantly due to the new sliding rear bench and reclining backrests. More pictures after the jump.

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