THE NEXT GENERATION Volkswagen Touareg, expected to land late next year as a 2011 model, has been spied undergoing cold weather testing in Europe.
The new model, although slightly smaller in overall dimensions than the outgoing, is expected to offer improved interior space with optional seating for seven passengers (a feat the current model can't quite manage).
A range of new more fuel-efficient engines will also feature in the Touareg line-up, starting with a 208kW 3.2 litre V6 petrol engine, through to a range-topping 257kW 4.2 litre V8.
A pair of diesel engines are expected to join the petrol engines, with 2.7 and 3.0 litre capacities.
The next generation Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7 models are expected to utilise the same platform, which will feature greater use of aluminium for weight reduction.
These new images follow reports of a Touareg test mule wearing a modified version of the current model's body, with a widened rear bumper and a different intake system.
While the heavy camouflaging of recent test cars gives away little, the new model is expected to take on a sportier look, drawing inspiration from the more recent Tiguan (see TMR's 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan review here) and wearing Volkswagen's new family face.