Volkswagen has abandoned the US in favour of China for the new third-generation Touareg, because that’s where the money is. And you will need money to get into the new Touareg, because it’s a machine-gone-premium, so much so that when it arrives in SA in the third quarter of 2018, it will be considered to be the flagship of the entire Volkswagen range. A pointer to a hi-tech future with even higher-tech interiors, the giant Touareg adds a sweeping array of safety and driver assistance systems to a chassis borrowed almost completely from the Porsche Cayenne. It has grown by 77mm in length and it’s 44mm wider, though the weight has come down by 120kg. It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Touareg’s development though. Plans for a long-wheelbase, seven-seat version, sitting on the Audi Q7’s mechanical base were thrown out late on the grounds that 5.1m was too long for an SUV. It would have added 100mm to the Touareg’s 2,895mm wheelbase. Similarly, its development was more expensive than...

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