The third generation Volkswagen Touareg is making today its spy photo debut ahead of what will likely be a 2017 market launch.

Upon first glance you might say this is just a weird-looking Audi Q7 but in reality hiding beneath the skin is the all-new Touareg. We know this for sure because the interior has several Volkswagen-sourced parts while the license plate has been registered with the city of Braunschweig (Brunswick) in Germany located in the nearby vicinity of Volkswagen's R&D center.

Since the facelifted Touareg just came out, there's not much to talk about its successor except for the fact that it will ride on the MLB Evo platform and will likely adopt an evolutionary styling. It will share many of its components with the next-gen Porsche Cayenne and will probably be offered with at least one four-cylinder engine while a plug-in hybrid version is also planned.

The third generation Volkswagen Touareg is expected to come out towards the end of 2016 or early 2017.

Gallery: Next generation Volkswagen Touareg test mule spied for the first time

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