The Volkswagen Touareg is readying for its mid-cycle refresh. New spy shots show the automaker testing the updated SUV, but well-placed stickers attempt to conceal the changes. The updated Touareg will feature a revised design, but it won’t receive a full-blown makeover. Customers should expect subtle changes to its exterior appearance and minor tweaks to the cabin.

It remains a mystery as to whether Volkswagen will make any changes to the Touareg’s powertrain lineup. The most potent one available is a turbocharged 3.0-liter engine paired with an electric motor. The setup produces 456 horsepower (340 kilowatts) and 516 pound-feet (700 Newton-meters) of torque in the Touareg R.

Gallery: Volkswagen Touareg Spy Photos

This example is wearing a hybrid badge on the liftgate, suggesting it features some electrification. Previous spy shots hinted at Volkswagen making some powertrain changes, but we’ll need to wait for the full debut to learn more.

Sadly, this does not look like the hotter R variant. The previous example lacked plastic cladding around the wheel wells. However, Volkswagen is hiding this SUV’s finer styling details. A close inspection reveals that the automaker is using stickers that mimic the current model’s look to hide the changes. They are clearly visible at the front, appearing to conceal some revamped styling around the headlights. It also looks like there is a sizable sticker across the lower bumper and intakes, which should receive a new appearance.

At the rear, the Touareg looks like the current model. The taillights appear to retain the same internals, and we can’t spot any stickers trying to hide a new design. While this test vehicle sports trapezoidal tailpipes like the Touareg R, it lacks its beefier roof spoiler on the boot. Inside, we don’t believe VW will make significant updates, but earlier photos shows the automaker attempting to hide the dash, so there could be some tweaks. 

Volkswagen doesn’t offer the Touareg in the US, instead selling US consumers the Atlas. The current-generation Touareg went into production in 2018, and this example is the model’s mid-cycle update. The SUV looks ready for dealer lots, so we expect VW to debut it sometime this year.

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