Volkswagen Off-Road Driving Experience

The Advanced, Radical Experience

It started in Sweden, where the first Driving Experience with Volkswagen took place. Back then, in February, it was an ice driving experience with the Golf 7 on the frozen lakes of Arvidsjaur in northern Sweden. I felt the acceleration push me into the seat, yet how could I have skidded on the Arctic ice while the sun shone on my face? Such unforgettable moments! What an experience! 

Welcome to the latest adventure; this time, an ultimate off-road experience with the Touareg. Welcome to the Volkswagen Driving Experience in the Maritimes Alps of Italy.

The Experience

The best thing about this experience is that we crossed the borders between Italy and France. In Italy, we started in Cuneo, quite a small but nice city, then we drove up to the Maritimes Alps. Our Touareg was equipped with V6 TDI 3.0 diesel, automatic transmission and 4XMOTION. The bestselling Volkswagen Touareg showcased its unquestionable off-road capabilities where the vehicle has been tested in some of the world's most extreme off-road conditions. Uniting the world of off-road vehicles with the comfortable dimensions of a luxury sedan and the dynamic attributes of a sports car, the sports utility vehicle displayed its world class performance and handling skills with ease.

Thomas Milz, Managing Director of Volkswagen Middle East, said: "This year, deliveries of the Touareg have increased by 16% year on year in the Middle East and 18% year on year in the GCC. Since its launch in 2010, the Touareg has been a firm favorite amongst a wide cross section of the market. Its stunning design and world first innovations have allowed the Touareg to herald a paradigm shift in the idea behind multipurpose SUVs. The Touareg offers luxury, high performance and extreme off-road capabilities in a single, quite remarkable package."

Ground Clearance

The Touareg's performance excels on virtually any terrain. With air suspension (optional on the V6) and sensor-driven dynamic damping control, the Touareg rides smoothly over every bump. The level control helps drivers respond and adapt to different surfaces and situations. It can raise itself up to 140 millimeters to give a ground clearance of 300 millimeters where necessary.

Hill Climbing Ability

The Touareg's hill-start assist gives it power from a standing start up a slope of up to 45 degrees without blinking. Hill-holder, hill descent assists and roll-over sensors are standard on all models.

Extreme Angles

Off-road normally means traversing sudden steep inclines and descents, so short overhangs are critical. Touareg's compact overhangs mean 45 degree inclines can be tackled without grounding the body, front or rear. The Touareg can traverse a side-slope angle of up to 35 degrees, with full traction and control. Approach and departure angles of up to 30 degrees mean the Touareg can glide over sharp rises with ease. The V6 has a stationary ground clearance of 205 mm. The V8's air suspension increases ground clearance to 233 mm.

Lighter in Weight

Volkswagen is systematically striving for sustainability on the Touareg. As the leader in its competitive class, the Touareg has 5% greater torsional rigidity than its predecessor, despite it now weighing 208 kilograms less than before.

Area View

The Area View is a surroundings monitoring system which transfers images of all of the Touareg's surroundings to the central touchscreen in the center console. These auxiliary lines are used to help the driver better assess distances, to describe the possible driving path based on the steering angle or to show a recommended driving maneuver.

World's First SUV with 8-speed Automatic

All Touareg versions are now shifted by a standard 8-speed automatic transmission - the first of its kind in the world in the SUV segment. The 7th and 8th gears are laid out as fuel-efficient overdrive gears.

More Space for Everyone

The functional interior offers more comfortable seats and legroom in the rear, with an increase of 41 millimeters from the predecessor thanks to an extension of the wheelbase to 2,893 millimeters.

Aesthetically Stunning Design

The Touareg has made dynamic strides in its looks, owing to an even sportier layout of proportions.

The team, led by Volkswagen design head Klaus Bischoff, set out to give the Touareg a significantly more elegant appearance based on the new Volkswagen Design DNA, which manifests itself through a clear horizontal structure and orientation. Key elements here are the black, high-gloss trim of the upper radiator grille with its continuous chrome trim strips, the headlights that are always visually integrated in these lines, the middle level of the bumper painted in the car color, and a U-shaped and lower air inlet framed nearly entirely in chrome trim as a third level.

Verdict
I still feel like an adventurer whenever I catch a plane for a test drive. It might be my young age, but most certainly it is also my deep passion for the auto industry. We were taken on-road into the countryside and safely beyond. Our training enabled us to tackle and experience every type of surface from asphalt sections of straight road to bone-rattling tracks - all courtesy of our all-round talent, the Volkswagen Touareg. The Touareg, Volkswagen's radical SUV, represented an attempt to draw a more fashionable group of consumers to the brand - consumers who might have been tempted by other automakers. This is why Volkswagen calls the Touareg, "One of the most important vehicle launches in VW history."

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