A cladded version of what's obviously a Volkswagen Touareg was caught testing in the European Alps, suggesting a refresh for VW's upscale SUV is imminent. Although external changes are not expected to be extensive or radical, bigger changes could be coming under the hood and in the drivetrain.
Since it shares a platform with the Porsche Cayenne, some of the announced changes for its Bavarian thoroughbred cousin could also find their way into the Touareg. Among the changes or additions that could be coming is the addition of a plug-in hybrid variant that was announced for the Cayenne earlier this year.
Although not sold in the U.S., the second-generation Touareg is offered in some markets with a 4.2-liter V-8 TDI diesel making a stout 335 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. A higher-output version of that engine is reportedly being considered for the U.S. market under the hood of the Porsche Cayenne S Diesel, where it would make 377 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque. The largest diesel the U.S. is likely to see for the Touareg is the current 3.0-liter V-6 TDI, although an updated version of that engine in the Audi TDI models got a 22-lb-ft torque bump from 406 to 428 lb-ft, something we could see soon for the Touareg as well.