Volkswagen Touareg is now offered in V8 TDI R-Line variant. It’s a high-performance turbo-diesel version that gives plenty of driving fun without making a huge donation to the oil companies. Volkswagen would probably like the R-Line to challenge large luxurious SUVs, perhaps even with an eye on the stunning British Range Rover, though it’s more likely that Audi, controlled by Volkswagen, would see its Q7 as the real challenger.
ENGINE / TRANSMISSION
The V8 diesel engine may be relatively small, at just 4.1 litres, but a high-pressure turbocharger gives it huge pulling power with 800 Nm of torque between 1750 and 2750 revs, and 250 kW of power at 4000 rpm. It uses direct diesel injection and VW’s BlueMotion Technology, which includes brake energy recuperation. It’s teamed with a an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Building on the already striking presence of the big Touareg, the R-Line has reworked front and rear bumpers, with the latter incorporating a textured matte-black diffuser and standout oval tailpipes.
The door sills are done in body colour, chrome door add-ons work neatly, there are R-Line badges on the front guards. The front also sports a unique new spoiler lip. A roof mounted spoiler tops off the appearance without being overly aggressive.
Huge 21-inch Mallory alloy wheels and dark tinted rear side windows and rear window give a full-on sporting appearance which defies the off-road nature of the vehicle.
The R-Line interior has stainless steel door sill plates, heated, leather-trimmed multi-function steering wheel with R-Line logo and gear shift paddles. Stainless steel pedals and a leather gear shift knob with aluminium inserts complete the distinctive cabin decor.
Comfort and convenience are close companions with Nappa leather extending to the seat trim. There’s also a dash-mounted 7-inch colour screen projecting an all-round vehicle view, reverse parking with guidelines, front and rear parking distance sensors and satellite navigation.
If you’ve got plenty of grunt from the engine chances are you also want an audio system with performance. VW supplies a Dynaudio Confidence 620-Watt premium sound system with twelve-channel digital amplifier and twelve speakers, along with media interface with USB connection.
Standard features include Anti-Slip Regulation and an Electronic Stability Program that adds active rollover protection to the usual suite of stability devices. Off-road, Engine Braking Control with Anti-lock Braking System and Hill Decent Assist works nicely. When combined with the Driver Assistance Package, the V8 Touareg offers excellent safety.
The big Volkswagen Touareg has no fewer than nine airbags,
The Driver Assistance Package has Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist and City Emergency brake functions and blind spot Side Assist. The Proactive occupant protection system senses a potential crash and does everything it can to prevent it or at least minimise occupant injuries.
The sound of the big-power V8 is sensational. Diesels have no right to sound this good – a deep roar that increases markedly the harder you push the pedal on the right. Volkswagen Touareg V8 TDI R-Line can reach 100 km/h from a standing start in only 5.8 seconds. Power continues to rise and the torque spread makes for ridiculously easy hillclimbing and very safe overtaking.
Fuel consumption in the range of 10 to 13 litres per hundred kilometres is pretty good considering the performance on offer, and it’s possible to get consumption down into the sevens and eights if you’re careful on motorways or easy country driving.
Roadholding and comfort can be adjusted with suspension settings to ride height, drive mode and adaptive cruise control on road and off-road. The spread through the eight forward gears is good, with an ultra high autobahn ratio that would love to sample in its home country one day. Steering wheel mounted paddles let you play with the ratios if you feel so inclined.
The price list for the VW Touareg V8 TDI R-Line begins at $112,990, plus on-road costs. it can be specified with a Comfort Package, with four-zone climate control air-conditioning, power 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 and heated steering wheel with memory and keyless entry.
Volkswagen Touareg TDI R-Line, like the others in the range, is covered by a three-year unlimited kilometre warranty and 24-hour roadside assistance for three years over unlimited distance.
PRICING AND SPECIFICATIONS
VW Touareg V8 TDI R-Line from $112,990
Note: This price does not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Volkswagen dealer for drive-away prices.
Type: 4.1-litre V8 turbo-diesel
Capacity: 4134 cc
Bore/stroke: 83.0 mm x 95.5 mm
Compression ratio: 16.4:1
Fuel system: Common-rail direct injection intercooled
Fuel type: diesel
Ignition system: Compression
Exhaust emission control: Exhaust gas recirculation, oxidation catalytic converter, diesel particulate filter
Emission stage: Euro V
Maximum Power: 250 kW @ 4000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 800 Nm @ 1750-2750 rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic function and sports mode, 4MOTION all-wheel drive
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4898 mm
Width: 1965 mm
Height: 1732 mm
Wheelbase: 2904 mm
Track: 1650 mm (front), 1670 mm (rear)
Cargo area: 580 litres (rear seat upright), 1642 (rear seat folded)
Length: 974 mm, 1814 mm
Width: 1158 mm (minimum); 1350 mm (maximum)
Turning Circle: 11.9 m
Tare weight: 2264 kg
Roof load: 100 kg
Towing capacity: 3500 kg (braked); 750 kg (unbraked)
Tow ball download: 280 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 100 litres
SUSPENSION AND BRAKES:
Suspension: Air suspension with adaptive control. Three damper settings (automatic, sport, comfort). Loading level 147 mm, road level 197 mm, off-road level 247 mm, extra level 300 mm
Brakes: Ventilated discs all round. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist and Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP)
Steering: Hydraulic power assisted rack and pinion
Wheels: Alloy (Mallory) 21in x 9.5
Tyres: 275.40 R21
Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 5.8 sec
Maximum speed: 242 km/h
Combined Cycle (ADR 81/01): 9.2 L/100km, CO2 emissions 242 g/km
Emission standard: EU5
GREEN VEHICLE GUIDE RATINGS:
Greenhouse Rating: 5/10
Air Pollution Rating: 6/10
Vehicle: 3 years / unlimited kilometres
Roadside assistance: 3 years / unlimited kilometres