The 2018 Volkswagen Touareg has been caught on camera undergoing road testing in Germany virtually undisguised, save for some trick stickers to hide the details.

Unsurprisingly, the third-generation Touareg, Wolfsburg’s flagship SUV, will follow the design template of smaller sibling Tiguan and the seven-seater Atlas aimed at the US market. Compared to the outgoing Touareg, which has been with us since 2010, the upcoming car will get sharper styling and edges plus slimmer lights. An upsized Tiguan would be a fair description.

The Touareg will do battle with big SUVs such as Volvo’s second-gen XC90, and reports mention a more premium interior with a larger infotainment screen. What’s for sure is that it will have to be a few steps up from the Tiguan’s cabin – in design and features – to compete in this segment.

Autocar reports that the big VW will have a plug-in hybrid variant likely to be related to the powerplant showcased on the T-Prime Concept GTE from last year’s Beijing auto show.

That big and handsome showcar combined a 2.0 litre TSI engine with 248 hp/370 Nm with a 134 hp/350 Nm electric motor integrated into an eight-speed auto transmission, which also has an LSD built-in. Total system output is 375 hp and 700 Nm and all-electric range is 50 km.

Of course, VW’s regular range of TSI and TDI engines will sit below the PHEV, and 4Motion all-wheel-drive will be standard across the board – the Touareg has always been decently capable off tarmac. It is predicted that the production Touareg will be revealed late this year ahead of deliveries in early 2018.