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Volkswagen toys with offroad spec for Touareg

By Toby Hagon, 28 Nov 2019 Car News

Volkswagen Touareg offroad

More affordable Touareg 4x4 will suit burgeoning tow vehicle sector, says VW

Volkswagen’s Touareg could soon get down and dirty.

The focus for the large SUV so far has been on luxury, but it could soon welcome a more capable off-road model to take advantage of increasing demand for capable four-wheel drives – and it’s grey nomads tearing around the country with caravans in tow that are one of the key target markets.

Speaking at the launch of the latest additions to the Touareg range – the 190TDI and 190TDI Premium – Volkswagen product marketing manager Jeff Shafer said a more rugged model was being considered.

“I think there’s certainly scope to look at a special edition,” Shafer said when asked about the possibility of a more off-road-focused Touareg, something that would not appear before late 2020.

He nominated the Adventure model that was created for the previous generation Touareg as a possible inspiration for a modern variant.

More: How much can my large SUV tow?

That car had features such as a tow pack and roof racks as well as subtle styling tweaks, all things that would be on the cards for a new version.

It would also pick up a larger 90-litre fuel tank that is currently offered as an option to extend the touring range between refills.

Volkswagen premiered the Touareg in Morocco using similar specifications.

2019 Volkswagen Touareg in Morocco

Shafer also suggested tyres could be downsized and fitted with hardier tyres for dirt road driving.

Currently, the new Touareg is fitted with low-profile 19- or 20-inch tyres as standard, depending on the model, with 21-inch wheels also an option.

But Volkswagen has also certified 18-inch wheels with higher profile tyres for the Touareg; something that would be better suited to off-roading.

More: Here's why you need off-road insurance

While one of the Touareg’s negatives for many family buyers is a lack of third-row seats – it only accommodates five people – the large boot and lack of bulky seats soaking up load space are more appealing for couples and small families hitting the road for big trips.

“They’re looking for good cruising ability, towing capability, [and] the big boot is a benefit,” said Shafer.

“One of the larger customer groups for Touareg is the grey nomad customer.”

Obvious targets for a more off-road-focused Touareg include the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Land Rover Discovery.

But Shafer also nominates the Toyota Prado as another contender.