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by George Skentzos

Forget everything you know about performance SUV’s because VW has redefined the genre with the all-new Touareg R50 which has made its world wide debut at the Australian International Motor Show.

Unlike other performance SUV’s where high-output, inefficient petrol engines are the norm, the R50 is instead powered by a far more suitable V10 TDI engine.

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The already staggering 750Nm produced by the ‘tame’ V10 of the standard Touareg has now jumped to an incredible 258kW and 850Nm in the R50.

This is enough to rocket the R50’s heft from 0 to 100km/h in just 6.8 seconds and maintain fuel consumption of a combined 12.6L/100km – from a V10 mind you – the standard Touareg towed a plane, so the R50 should actually rotate the Earth under it.

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The engine wasn’t the only part to receive the R treatment, the exterior now boasts 21-inch Omanyt-type alloy wheels with 295 tyres, blue painted brake calipers, discrete wheel well flares and independent bumpers. Inside, the features include a sports seat system in anthracite coloured napa leather with the R50 logo integrated in the headrests.

The dark interior compliments the R trademark Biscay Blue exterior which was specially developed for the Touareg R50. Optional colours on the Touareg R50 are Campanella White, Reflex Silver, Black Magic and Atacama Grey.

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The impressive new front end boasts both stunning looks and practicality. The brushed chrome adds a smooth highlight to the overall look, whilst the vents under each headlight feed the two intercoolers nestled behind the honeycomb mesh.

The suspension package includes an either manually or automatically controlled air-suspension sports chassis lowered by twenty millimeters which complement the stiffer spring rate. In the suspension’s comfort mode, driving comfort remains just as good as on versions without the sports chassis.

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High-end R50 safety features adds ABSplus, which adapts brake pressure in off-road conditions for an improved stopping distance of up to 20 percent. Driving dynamics package with roll compensation counteracts body roll of the car when cornering by actuating the electronically controlled dampers. Finally an optional Rear Assist rear-view camera identifies potential hazards aids as well as assisting in parking.

With pricing to begin at $129,990 – just $8,000 more than the standard V10, VW have a real winner on their hands.






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