Volkswagen’s Touareg Premium Minivan Features Adaptive Headlights and More

Volkswagen AG has partnered with Hella KGaA Hueck & Company to provide its second-generation Touareg with an all-new adaptive lighting system that uses a windshield-mounted camera and proprietary software from the automaker to scan the road ahead and determine the exact position of oncoming vehicles.

The system uses the data to adjust cylindrical shades mounted to the headlights to shield oncoming drivers’ eyes from the glare of the Touareg’s headlights while keeping everything else that falls within the beam perfectly illuminated.

Volkswagen is not the first German automaker to employ an adaptive lighting.  Mercedes-Benz and Audi both use camera-based lighting technology on the E class and A8. Their systems, however, cause the headlights to automatically dip slightly away from oncoming vehicles, which affects the entire field of illumination.

Hella is also providing other elements for the new Touareg, including the vehicle’s overhead console and interior lights, LED brake lights and its lane-assist technology, which helps the driver maintain the vehicle within its lane.

Volkswagen has also partnered with Grammer AG for the Touareg’s headrests and center console, which can be customized to contain a wide range of controls and features cup holders and storage compartments. The console is available in 48 colors and a wide range of materials including aluminum and wood and can be fitted with driver and front-seat passenger arm rests. Grammer also supplies the center console used in the Passat.

The Touareg is a large premium SUV that Volkswagen unveiled last February and showcased at the Geneva Auto Show the following month. It is also the automaker’s first model to be available with an optional gas-electric hybrid powertrain which includes a nickel-metal hydride battery manufactured by Sanyo Electric Company. The hybrid variant’s power electronics and integrated motor generator are manufactured by Robert Bosch GmbH, and the battery-cooling fan and electric compressor are supplied by Denso Corporation.

The hybrid version features a 3.3-liter V-6 gasoline engine tied to an integrated electric motor housed in the transmission housing and has an estimated fuel efficiency rating of about 28 mpg. The vehicle can travel up to about 30 mph for short distances in full-electric mode.

The Touareg hybrid is available in Germany for 73,500 euros, with the base price for the conventional gasoline-powered priced at around 50,000 euros. Both the hybrid and gasoline-powered models are produced at Volkswagen’s Bratislava, Slovakia production facilities.

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