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Sydney show: Volkswagen flexes Touareg's muscles

R-rated: R50 gets a 850Nm version of the Touareg's stonking V10 diesel.

Volkswagen stages the global premiere of its R-rated Touareg SUV in Sydney

11 Oct 2007

UNDERLINING the significance of the Australian International Motor Show, and of this nation as a consumer of SUVs, Volkswagen – in a world first – took the covers off the much-anticipated Touareg R50 at the Darling Harbour Exhibition Centre this morning.

The third in the German manufacturer’s global high-performance, all-wheel drive R-series stable behind the Golf R32 and Passat R36, the R50 is being billed as one of the most powerful SUVs in the world with a boosted version of the familiar V10 TDI turbo-diesel.

This was the expected engine, but the statistics uncovered this morning are no less compelling – 258kW of power at 3500rpm and 850Nm of torque at 2000rpm.

The “standard” V10 TDI produces 230kW and 750Nm, with the gains on R50 attributed to adjustments to its twin turbochargers and the engine management system. Combined with the standard six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, R50 acceleration from 0-100km/h is a claimed 6.8 seconds, 0.6 seconds faster than the standard 2.5-tonne version.

3 center image(Weight and other specifications are still to be released.) Top speed is a governed 235km/h while its combined fuel consumption figure is 12.6L/100km, which is on par with the standard model.

The R50 also features an air suspension “sports chassis” that lowers the vehicle 20mm, has stiffer spring rates over the existing Sport mode and includes “adaptive roll compensation”.

Exterior features include 21-inch “Omanyt” alloy wheels with 295/35-section tyres, blue-painted brake callipers, some “discrete” wheelarch blistering, side skirt flares, aerodynamic “flaps” near the front and rear axles, a roof edge spoiler, oval tailpipes and a more aggressive grille and lower front bumper treatment typical of other R models. Bi-Xenon headlamps are also standard.

Inside, sports seats are clothed in anthracite-coloured nappa leather and have an R50 logo embossed into the head restraints. The logo is also applied to the stainless steel scuff plates and the gearshift lever.

There are other metallic trim highlights in the cabin, such as across the dash and on the pedals. Expect pricing around $150,000 for the R50 when it hits the streets in the first quarter of 2008.

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