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VW Touareg to go all diesel – with a V8

Change up: Volkswagen has homologated a V8 diesel version of its Touareg for Australia, which might top $100,000.

Volkswagen appears set to drop V6 petrol and add diesel V8 to Touareg range

Volkswagen logo25 Jul 2012

By RON HAMMERTON

VOLKSWAGEN seems set to up the ante with its Touareg SUV, gaining official Australian Design Rule (ADR) approval for a new flagship 4.2-litre V8 diesel stump-ripper that might become VW’s first $100,000 vehicle in this country.

Armed with 250kW of power and 800Nm of torque, the Touareg V8 TDI is likely to become part of an all-diesel Touareg line-up, with the only petrol model, the V6 FSI, set to be dropped after only a year on the market.

The realignment of the Touareg range fits with the burgeoning popularity of diesel powertrains in the SUV market.

The Touareg V8 TDI borrows luxury partner Audi’s 4.2-litre turbo diesel V8 and adds an eight-speed automatic transmission to create a new range-topper to sit above the $82,990 V6 TDI 4xMotion.

VW Group Australia (VGA) skipped the V8 version of its large SUV when the second-generation was introduced in Australia in mid 2011, instead sticking with a quartet of V6 models – one with a 3.6-litre FSI petrol engine, and the others with the 3.0-litre V6 diesel in 150kW and 180kW flavours.

According to ADR documents posted in June, the three V6 diesel variants remain, while the V6 FSI has been dropped and the V8 TDI added.

3 center imageFrom top: Volkswagen Touareg rear and interior Audi Q7 Audi's 4.2-litre V8.

In Audi’s Q7 luxury SUV range, the V8 TDI version commands a premium of almost $30,000 over the V6 TDI-equipped model, indicating the Touareg V8 TDI is likely to be north of $100k whenever it lobs.

VW general manager press and PR Karl Gehling told GoAuto that no changes to the Touareg range had been confirmed.

The ADR homologation documents give no indication of when models will be introduced – only that they can be.

Along with the bigger engine, the V8 TDI gets 360mm front brake discs – 30mm larger than the V6 models – but the same 330mm rears.

Tipping the scales about 100kg more than the 2154kg base model, the V8 TDI nevertheless weighs only about 54kg more than the AWD V6 TDI 4XMotion variant.

The braked towing capacity for the V8 is the same as the other models – a muscular 3.5 tonnes – while ground clearance is also the same, at 200mm.

While the V6 diesels will be equipped with VW’s BlueMotion fuel-saving technologies, the V8 will do without.

Eighteen inch alloy wheels are expected to be standard, but alternatives up to 21 inches should be available.

So far this year, VW has sold a handy 858 Touaregs in Australia, taking a 10 per cent slice of the over $70,000 large SUV market segment.

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