Currently reading: Volkswagen: The Touareg is designed to mix Chinese and European tastes
With the 2018 Volkswagen Touareg upon us, we discuss its design with the man in charge

Volkswagen's new Touareg is here with a plusher cabin and more striking look. It's designer, Frank Bruse, admits its focus is on China - so we ask what impact that has had on its potential in Europe.

Is there pressure designing VW’s flagship model?

“It means everyone looks closely at it, but there is more freedom and money to do things you can’t do on, say, a Volkswagen Polo or Volkswagen Up. For example, the headlights are quite expensive, but we can use them here first, then later introduce them on other models.”

2018 Volkswagen Touareg unveiled with upmarket features 

Is it hard designing an SUV that appeals to the European and Chinese markets?

“It’s a big challenge. Chinese people want a bold front: chrome means status. In Europe, they don’t want cars that are showy or loud, so we have to find a compromise. Size is a big thing too. In China, it can’t be big enough, but in Europe we can’t go too big: we talk about the ‘five-metre barrier’.”

New VW Touareg: should the people's car be a premium car? 

Is it a challenge to hide the sensors you need to fit to the front of cars for the driver assistance features?

“With the Touareg, we have the radar behind the logo. The Volkswagen Golf Mk6 was our first car with a sensor, so we put it low down on the air intake, but it could cause trouble by being so low and getting blocks. We now get feedback from some customers that they like to see the sensors.”

Read more

Volkswagen Toureg review 

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Read our review

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The second-generation Volkswagen Touareg has gone on a diet and become more efficient

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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