Volkswagen Australia has secured a limited run of what will be the German brand’s fastest full-size SUV to date in this country – 10 years since it last built a high-performance family four-wheel-drive.
The Volkswagen Touareg will be available with a twin turbo 4.0-litre V8 diesel later this year, but at this stage it is only planned to be in production for 12 months or so and be phased out at the end of 2021.
The output of 310kW and 900Nm eclipses the previous high performance Volkswagen Touareg R50 powered by a twin turbo 5.0-litre V10 (258kW/850Nm) manufactured between 2007 and 2010.
Although the new Volkswagen Touareg’s twin turbo 4.0-litre V8 diesel has a similar output to the Audi SQ7’s engine of the same capacity (310kW/900Nm versus 320kW/900Nm), they reach their peaks using different technology.
The Audi SQ7’s V8 diesel has an electric compressor that assists two turbochargers from low revs, making it easier to accelerate from low speeds.
The Volkswagen Touareg’s V8 diesel uses two sequential turbochargers and switches the four-valve cylinder-heads to three valves at low engine revs.
Below 2200rpm the Volkswagen Touareg’s twin turbo V8 diesel slides the camshaft to close one of the exhaust valves, so all of the gases are directed to one turbo propeller wheel.
This assistance results in spinning up the variable-geometry turbocharger and providing full power as it revs to 5000rpm.
Despite the differences in how the Audi and Volkswagen engines reach their peaks, maximum torque in both engines is identical, and available through he same rev range: 1250rpm to 3250 rpm.
The difference in their 0 to 100km/h claims is the blink of an eye: 4.8 seconds for the Audi SQ7 and 4.9 seconds for the VW Touareg V8, which is as quick as the current VW Golf R hot hatch.
The difference in price is likely to be larger, however. The updated Audi SQ7 starts from $161,900 plus on-road costs but with popular option packs the price climbs to $190,000 plus on-road costs.
Volkswagen Australia is yet to announce pricing, but as a guide its previous performance flagship in the Toaureg range cost from $130,000, and based on overseas figures it is likely to land somewhere between $130,000 and $140,000 when it arrives in local showrooms.
The most expensive model in the current Volkswagen Touareg line-up tops out at $89,990 plus on-road costs.
In a media statement, Volkswagen Group Australia managing director Michael Bartsch said: “Even fully loaded, the Touareg V8 will undercut the starting price of its rivals to be the best value proposition in the premium large SUV segment. Luxury SUV performance of the Touareg V8’s calibre won’t be found elsewhere for less than $160,000.”