The man responsible for the exterior design of the new Touareg admits it was a “big challenge” attempting to ensure that the third-generation flagship SUV’s styling appealed to both Chinese and European buyers.

“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,” Frank Bruse told Autocar.

“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’,” he added.

Bruse furthermore told the British publication that he nevertheless enjoyed a degree of freedom when designing the new Touareg, thanks to its flagship status.

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

“The key difference is that we were allowed to do our own door panels – before we had to share with the Cayenne. That gave us more freedom,” Bruse said, referring to the fact that the new Touareg shares its Volkswagen Group platform with the likes of the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne.