Construct an inventory of probably the most outrageous SUVs on the planet. You’ll be able to base your solutions on various standards: energy, prime velocity, worth, the presence of a Mansory badge. However we would wish to make the case that any such compilation ought to at all times embody a diesel. From their low-end grunt to their effectivity, an incredible diesel can elevate an SUV to greatness.
Over the previous twenty years and earlier than the emissions scandal, Volkswagen produced a number of legendary diesels. The primary-gen VW Touareg provided a 310-hp V-10 turbo-diesel leviathan with 553 lb-ft of torque that was conceived and developed on the behest of Ferdinand Piëch to concurrently elevate the diesel engine and the VW model. An arms race throughout the Volkswagen-Audi group ultimately led to an Audi Q7 with a V-12 turbo-diesel, a now-legendary luxurious SUV with 500 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque.
In the US, Volkswagen discontinued the costly and two-row Touareg in favor of the three-row Atlas, an SUV designed for the American market that shares its platform with the Tiguan and the Jetta. It is VW’s equal to the Camry-based and best-selling Toyota Highlander. However in Germany, VW nonetheless makes the Touareg, and there is a new one with a 416-hp V-Eight TDI engine.
Code-named EA898, this twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-Eight is fitted not simply within the VW Touareg; it is also within the European-market Audi SQ7, SQ8, and the Bentley Bentayga. There it is rated at 435 horsepower and comes with an extra electrical supercharger to spice up preliminary response. This motor-driven compressor, nevertheless, in our expertise is not wholly essential. In contrast to the present 3.0-liter V-6 TDI, this V-Eight TDI offers a virtually lag-free response even with out the extra booster, due to a complicated two-stage turbo design.
The 416 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque, out there from simply above idle velocity, are channeled to all 4 wheels by way of an eight-speed, torque-converter automated transmission. The efficiency is vicious. In response to VW’s measurements, the 60-mph mark is reached in lower than 5 seconds, and the facility rush would not finish till an electronically restricted 155 mph. VW tells us that an ungoverned Touareg V8 TDI would obtain exactly 167.6 mph, a Germanically correct quantity that we now have no cause to doubt.
Whereas VW nonetheless has a protracted solution to go to show itself after its dishonest scandal, we are able to say that the V-Eight diesel does return wonderful gasoline economic system for a 2.6-ton SUV. Within the European cycle, it’s rated at 31.Eight mpg, and the journey laptop informs us that it is a reachable quantity. In the event you insist on stretching its legs on limitless sections of the autobahn, like we did, that determine drops nearer to 20 mpg. Do this in a gasoline-powered SUV, together with hybridized ones, nevertheless, and it is simple to get half that mileage. Actually, the low consumption of the Touareg V8 TDI is nothing wanting sensational.
Good manners additionally set the Touareg diesel aside from its gas-fed compatriots. The V8 TDI is sort of silent and ultrasmooth, far past six-cylinder diesels and in marked distinction to V-Eight gasoline SUVs, which are sometimes intentionally designed to emit sound.
Succesful and Excessive-Tech
The unique VW Touareg was out there with a low-range switch case. The present mannequin was envisioned with such a system as effectively, however it was aborted comparatively early within the improvement course of because of a low take price. It will have made it a bit extra off-road pleasant, however the common structure works effectively sufficient.
With the air suspension that’s included within the V8 TDI, floor clearance might be elevated by an additional 2.Eight inches with the push of a button. Must you be extra severe about going off-road, we suggest the software-based off-road-package (it provides gravel and sand settings for the all-wheel-drive system, together with further cooling and underbody safety); the electronically decoupled anti-roll bars, which suppress physique roll on the street and are routinely decoupled off-road; and the rear-wheel steering system that will increase stability at excessive velocity and maneuverability within the metropolis and off the street at low speeds.
Supremely quiet, quick, and sure-footed, the Touareg V8 TDI’s premium qualities might be felt in its inside as effectively, particularly when the Innovision cockpit is ordered. The impact of the 15.0-inch middle display screen and 12-inch digital cluster is spectacular—it was supposed for the stillborn second-generation Phaeton as effectively—however the working logic takes some getting used to, and the graphics might be a bit much less garish. We love the optionally available audio system by Dynaudio, among the finest sound methods available on the market. It transforms the inside of the Touareg right into a live performance corridor and offers a novel promoting level for the connoisseur.
If the spirit of Ferdinand Piëch had prevailed, we consider VW would provide an Alcantara headliner and particular person rear seats, and the outside design could be barely extra tasteful. By the way, we hear that the chrome-laden entrance finish was designed particularly with the Chinese language market in thoughts, however even clients within the Far East are usually not thrilled with the overly garish look.
Beginning on the equal of just below $83,000 in its German dwelling market, together with a 19-percent VAT, the Volkswagen Touareg V8 TDI crests six figures as soon as it’s fitted with probably the most fascinating choices (which embody extremely highly effective matrix LED headlights). It will by no means discover a lot traction within the U.S. market, however it drives and seems like the worth it wears. That is, arms down, among the finest diesel SUVs we now have ever pushed. And that makes it one of the crucial outrageous.
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