MORE TORQUE FOR TOUAREG
The price of diesel may have soared, but some manufacturers continue to introduce new variants of their thirsty, uber-powerful, luxury cars. Enter Volkswagen’s 5.0 litre, V10, £62,015 Touareg R50. Greenies look away now…
With a hot hatch rivaling 0-62 sprint time of just 6.7 seconds, and enough power to tow a Boeing 747 (yes, it’s been done), this is one heck of a car. The V10 TDI unit that the new range-topping R50 uses is one of the most powerful diesel engines developed for a passenger car, and has been uprated from 309 to 345bhp. It’s also been given a substantial boost to produce an extra 74lb ft of torque, now producing a whopping 627 lb ft as low down as just 2,000rpm. Surprisingly though, with all of its extra zest, it still manages to match the fuel consumption of the standard V10 TDI, at 22.4mpg. Unfortunately, the tweeks haven’t done anything to improve the emissions, which are still running at an eye-watering 315g/km, putting the Touareg into the top tax band for the annual tax disc.
The R50 is undoubtably a car with presence and perhaps class, but is it handsome? I guess that comes down to the eye of the beholder. Distinguishing the R50 from the previous rangetopper, the Altitude V10 TDI, are a set of 21-inch ten-spoke alloy wheels, as well as the Touareg ‘R’ exterior design package. This translates into wheel arch extensions, blue brake calipers, a bodycoloured roof spoiler, and a restyled front bumper In addition, there are oval tailpipe trims, a matt finish chromed radiator grille and louvres, and finally honeycombe-style inserts in the airdams. On the inside, in addition to the already generous Altitude specification, there are ‘R’ logos on the pedals and door sill protectors, ‘Nappa’ leather sport seats, heated rear seats, and a ski sack and net partition. On the road, this is a motorway mile munching power house. The ride is smooth and there’s very little wind and engine noise, meaning that both driver and passenger alike feel cosseted. Take the Touraeg out onto tight and twisting roads, and it fares less well, and feels less composed. The amount of power available is absolutely awesome, with performance shaming many petrol powered hot hatches.
Price wise, the Touraeg is competitive and is similar in price to the Range Rover Sport, despite offering more power and higher equipment levels. As to whether it will catch on is anyones guess. £60k is a lot of money to pay for a car with a VW badge on the front. Many would either go for the Range Rover, or save £10k and plump for an offroader from Audi or BMW.
RIVALS: AUDI Q7 4.2 TDI S LINE, BMW X6 xDRIVE35d, RANGE ROVER SPORT TDV8 HST
- Engine: 4921cc, V10 turbodiesel
- Gearbox: 6-speed automatic
- Max Power: 345bhp at 3,500rpm
- Max Torque: 627lb ft at 2,000rpm
- Max Towing Weight: 3,500kg
- Combined Consumption: 23.7mpg
- CO2 Emissions (taxband): 315g/km (G)
- 0-62mph: 6.7secs
- Max speed: 146mph
- Insurance Group: 20