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Success story: Sales of VW’s Touareg are up 227 per cent this year, but the German importer has added more equipment anyway.

VW gives Touareg a lift, but ‘still in discussion’ with factory over V8 diesel

28 Aug 2012

VOLKSWAGEN has ramped up the value of its mid-size Passat and flagship Touareg SUV ranges with extra equipment in refreshed 2013 models to go on sale next month.

However, the company is keeping the lid on potential plans for a V8 diesel Touareg, saying it is still talking with the factory about the 4.2-litre variant that it has already quietly homologated for Australian sale.

As GoAuto reported last month, the petrol V6 FSI Touareg has been dropped, creating an all-diesel line-up that, like the Passat, gets a rear-view camera and sat-nav as standard equipment across the range in revisions for the 2013 model year.

VW Group Australia managing director Anke Koeckler said the petrol Touareg had comprised less than five per cent of sales of the company’s large SUV, as Australian buyers overwhelmingly turned to diesel.

She said the company also had no plans to introduce the hybrid version of the Touareg for similar reasons, saying potential sales volumes were too small when customers were already happy with the low fuel consumption offered by VW diesels.

At 8.2 litres per 100km, the hybrid Touareg sold in Europe is actually thirstier than any of the diesel variants, which achieve between 7.2L/100km and 7.4L/100km on the Australian combined test cycle.

3 center imageFrom top: Volkswagen Touareg Passat sedan and wagon.

Asked about the V8 diesel that appeared recently in Australian Design Rule approval documents, Ms Koeckler said the V8 diesel Touareg was still not confirmed for Australia.

“It is not actually an engine that we are going to release here in Australia – we are still working on that, but still a bit too early to talk about,” she said.

The documents show the V8 TDI has 250kW of power and 800Nm of torque, along with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

From next month, the Touareg will comprise three diesel models – 150TDI, V6 TDI and V6 TDI 4XMotion – all equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The base model not only gains the sat-nav and reversing camera – both hooked up to a 6.5-inch screen – but also a driver fatigue warning system, bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime driving lights, bigger 18-inch alloy wheels, upgraded Vienna leather interior and 12-way adjustable electric-power driver’s seat with pneumatic side bolsters and more flexible head restraint.

As well, the rear seat now splits 60:40 for easier load carrying.

The V6 TDI also adds 20-inch alloys with low-profile tyres and, because that might compromise ride quality, VW has thrown in air suspension with adaptive damping control that was previously optional.

The top-of-the-range V6 TDI 4XMotion sheds its off-road style grey and silver bumper and side skirts and instead adopts the body colour mouldings of the rest of the range, although the original package – including the oval chrome exhaust tip – remains available as a no-cost option.

VW says that, despite the added equipment, the four-cylinder 150TDI retains its $62,990 price (plus on-road costs), while the two V6 variants both go up $1000, to $77,990 for the V6 TDI and to $82,990 for the V6 4XMotion.

VW says the extra equipment on the V6 variants represents between $10,000 and $15,000 in extra value, with the previously optional air-suspension system being the most expensive addition.

The second-generation Touareg has been one of VW’s big success stories in Australia since its launch last year, with sales more than doubling this year to 1002 vehicles to the end of July.

Sales of VW’s Passat mid-size sedan and wagon are also up substantially this year, by 70 per cent to 3127 units.

But VW is maintaining the pressure by adding extra features at no extra cost.

The biggest news is the addition of standard satellite navigation with voice control and integrated phone, radio, 30GB hard-drive, DVD, CD and MP3 functions.

The LCD screen also displays the images from the new standard rear-view camera.

The V6 FSI Passats get steering wheel gear-change paddles, while the wagon variants add automatic tailgate operation that was previously optional.

As well, the optional driver assistance and visibility package gains blind-spot warning, along with other items such as bi-xenon headlights and lane assist.

The six-model Passat range otherwise remains unchanged, with prices starting at $38,990 for the petrol 118TSI and topping out with the V6 FSI Highline Wagon at $57,990 (plus on-road costs).

Later this year, VAG will launch the crossover Alltrack version of the Passat wagon, completing the range that also includes the recently launched coupe-style CC sedan.

Volkswagen Touareg and Passat pricing*
150TDI (a)$62,990
V6 TDI (a)$78,990
V6 TDI 4XMOTION (a)$83,990
118TSI (a)$38,990
125TDI Highline (a)$43,990
V6 FSI Highline (a)$55,990
118TSI Wagon (a)$40,990
125TDI Wagon Highline (a)$45,990
V6 FSI Wagon Highline (a)$57,990
* Plus on-road costs

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