The technological highlights of the new Touareg – part 2: all-wheel steering reduces the turn radius

 It sounds rather like an attempt to achieve the impossible: with the new Touareg1, Volkswagen is introducing a luxury SUV onto the market that is as agile and as easy to handle as a compact car. Can that really work? It certainly can – all thanks to the newly developed all-wheel steering system. Both the …

 It sounds rather like an attempt to achieve the impossible: with the new Touareg1, Volkswagen is introducing a luxury SUV onto the market that is as agile and as easy to handle as a compact car. Can that really work? It certainly can – all thanks to the newly developed all-wheel steering system. Both the front and rear wheels turn precisely in tune with the specific driving situation. This all-wheel steering is one of the reasons why the heavyweight Touareg cuts such a dash even in narrow city streets or when maneouvring. The new system also provides extra driving stability at high speeds.

There are essentially two types of driving scenario where the optional all-wheel steering system makes an impact: driving at speeds below 37 km/h and at speeds above 37 km/h.

Driving scenario one: At speeds up to 37 km/h, the rear wheels turn automatically at an opposing angle to the front ones. In other words, when the front wheels veer left, the electrically controlled rear axle steers to the right by up to five degrees. This improves the vehicle’s manoeuvrability. The all-wheel steering system reduces the turn radius from 12.19 to 11.19 metres, something which is particularly noticeable when it comes to parking. Manoeuvring with a trailer in tow is also made easier. One of the highlights here is the new combination of all-wheel steering and Trailer Assist – a trailer maneouvring system that steers virtually automatically. Thanks to the interplay between these two features, guiding the vehicle and trailer duo is a walk in the park, even in the tightest of spaces.

Driving scenario two: If the vehicle is travelling faster than 37 km/h, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front ones during steering. This once again makes for smoother handling, especially at the kind of speeds reached on country roads and motorways, as the all-wheel steering system provides stability when changing lanes (during quick overtaking, for example). The same goes for sudden evasive manoeuvres.

The new all-wheel steering feature, along with air suspension, is offered as part of a package which includes automatic adaptive suspension, height adjustment and electronic damping control. This package takes the agility of the Touareg to a level that was virtually unimaginable in this segment until recently.

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