The Touareg (internally designated Typ 7L) was a joint venture project developed by Volkswagen Group, Audi and Porsche. The goal was to create an off-road vehicle that could handle like a sports car. The team, with over 300 people, was led by Klaus-Gerhard Wolpert and based in Weissach, Germany. The result of the joint project is the Volkswagen Group PL71 platform, shared by the Touareg, the Audi Q7 and the Porsche Cayenne, although there are styling, equipment, and technical differences between those vehicles. The Touareg and Porsche both seat five, while the Q7's stretched wheelbase accommodates a third row for seven passengers. The Volkswagen Touareg is built at the Volkswagen Bratislava Plant in Bratislava, Slovakia, alongside the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne.
Due to the demand, and the exchange rates of euros against the US dollar, as well as different pricing and environmental policies in the US, the V6 and V8 engine variants make up most of Volkswagen's American Touareg offering. Compared to other Volkswagen-branded vehicles sold in the US which are aimed at the mass market, Touaregs came in the more upscale trims and placed in competition with other luxury crossover SUVs from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. However, a limited number of the V10 TDI Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engines was available in the 2004 model year (before being pulled for environmental reasons).
The second generation Touareg (Typ 7P) was revealed on February 10, 2010 in Munich, and later at the 2010 Beijing International Auto Show.
The new Touareg features a world first in automotive headlight technology: the "glare-free high beam".("Dynamic Light Assist" at Volkswagen). Unlike an adaptive high beam system, the newest system continually and gradually adjusts not only the range of the high-beam, but also its pattern. The beam pattern changes its direction continually so that vehicles in front are not being illuminated, while the area surrounding them is being constantly illuminated at high beam intensity.