Canadians Talking Tech

Leave it to the Germans to be logical

by Dan Reitman Posted in Automotive
2011 Volkswagen Touareg

Bucking the industry trend of making every new version of a car or SUV heavier than the last, VW’s new SUV has gone on a diet. That alone is not exactly newsworthy, until one realizes how substantial that diet has been. Indeed, it seems “Frau VW” has been hitting both the elliptical trainer and Activia yoghurt like a fiend, and it’s showing.

VW appears to have come to their senses and asked themselves, “If ze customers don’t vant to go off ze road, zen vy do vee keep building our cars like zis?” Then they answered this question by ridding the Touareg, VW’s biggest SUV, of its burly, off-road-specific mechanical bits, decreasing the vehicle’s price and weight in the process.

For the tiny fraction of current Touareg owners who actually venture off-road, VW will still offer the complicated, heavy, off-road gear as an extra-cost option. For the rest of the pavement-bound customers, VW will employ a less heavy-duty AWD system, one that’s more suited to on-road performance than to rock crawling up the side of a mountain. All in, this eschewing of unneeded 4wd mechanical complexity translates to a 450 lb. weight savings. That’s the weight of 3 people, or 2 decent-sized bratwurst platters.

With the lower weight, the Touareg’s already-impressive on-road performance will undoubtedly improve. Factor that in with the typical Volkswagen/Audi 1st class interior and exterior design, and this truck is sure to be a sales success.

So to review, the Touareg will weigh 10% less, will be more fuel efficient, thanks to new Hybrid and diesel options, will drive better, and will be even better looking. This is around the time I realize it’s too good to be true, and my Jewish self reminds me these guys were, in darker times, the industrial apple of Hitler’s eye. Even still, VW builds some nice cars.

Thanks to Autoblog for the photo

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