Back in 2004 the Volkswagen Touareg SUV came with the option of a gob smacking V10 5.0-litre turbo-diesel engine that was the talk of the town in SUV circles.
It cost big money and was only bought by those with bank balances to match. Despite a couple of price reductions along the way it never sold particularly well. It was comparatively thirsty for its type, but we aren’t sure that fact registered with those who did buy one. So the V10 engine wasn’t carried forward into the all-new Touareg when it was introduced in 2011.
Now, well aware that many Australian drivers like performance vehicles, Volkswagen Australia has added a turbo-diesel V8 Touareg to its lineup. Thankfully more and more Aussies are coming to grips with the reality of climate change so the big Touareg V8 TDI R-Line has relatively low fuel consumption at a rated 9.2 litres per hundred kilometres on the combined cycle. That’s almost 30 per cent lower than the old V10 diesel engine. As with all Touaregs, the V8 TDI comes with BlueMotion Technologies including brake energy recuperation.
The ‘R-Line’ in the Touareg’s title sees it fitted with a dress up package that includes a new spoiler lip, a matte-black rear diffuser with oval tailpipes integrated into the redesigned bumper. A roof edge spoiler certainly attracts attention. The door sills are done in body colour, there are chrome door add-ons and R-Line badges on the front guards that shout out you’re in something special.
Huge 21-inch Mallory alloy wheels and dark tinted rear side windows and rear windows will appeal to the typical buyer in this SUV class. There are also sporty looking bumpers and oval exhaust tailpipes as well as an interior trimmed in a luxurious fashion.
Inside the Touareg V8, there are Nappa leather trim, R-Line logos on the front stainless steel door sill plates and on the heated seats, a leather rimmed multi-function steering wheel with R-Line logo and gear shift paddles. Stainless steel pedals and a leather gear shift knob with aluminum inserts complete the package.
The 4.2-litre diesel uses the latest in efficient diesel injection technology to produce 250 kW of power at 4000rpm and peak torque of a huge 800 Nm. The big diesel lets the driver take the Touareg from rest to 100 km/h in only 5.8 seconds. Transmission is through Volkswagen’s eight-speed automatic transmission. There’s a comprehensive satellite navigation system, Dynaudio Confidence 620-Watt premium audio system with twelve channel digital amplifier and twelve speakers, along with media device interface with USB cable.
The standard Comfort Package consists of four-zone automatic climate control dual-air conditioning system, electrically adjustable door mirrors with memory function, automatic kerb view function when reversing, electrically adjustable front seats with three-position memory function for driver and front passenger (electrically height and reach adjustable), along with heated steering wheel with memory and keyless entry.
Volkswagen’s Driver Assistance Package includes safety systems such as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Front Assist and City Emergency brake (City EB), Side Assist lane changing assistant and the Proactive occupant protection system.
Touareg V8 is fitted with nine airbags, ASR, EDL and ESP with active rollover protection function, EBC and Off-road Function with Anti-lock Braking System. Volkswagen’s 4Motion four-wheel-drive system, complete with Hill Decent Assist and Auto Hold, is installed in the unlikely event that an owner will take the giant alloy wheels and low profile high-performance tyres into off-road situations.
We haven’t had the opportunity to drive the new model as yet as there’s only one in the country and it’s being closely guarded. Pricing for Volkswagen’s new Touareg V8TDI R-Line won’t be announced until it goes on sale in mid March this year.