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2008 Volkswagen Touareg v10 TDI - The "S" In SUV

'08 Volkswagen Touareg 2 V10 TDI Twin Turbo

Photography by Courtesy Of Volkswagen, ,

For one week, Diesel Power had in its possession a turbodiesel 5.0L V-10 packing 553 lb-ft of torque achieved at 2,000 rpm. We eventually discovered a vehicle was attached to this engine. Once that realization set in, the goal was to judge the Volkswagen Touareg 2's capability and quality. The Volkswagen Touareg 2 TDI Twin Turbo has more features built into its side mirrors than most vehicles have all together. Let us set all novelties aside and focus on what matters most-the turbodiesel. The VW has 10 cylinders cast in iron at 90 degrees, the crankshaft is forged steel, and the aluminum heads have two valves per cylinder. Intercooled variable vane Garrett (GT1852V) twin-turbos bring symmetry and 310 hp (underrated) to this tight, dense, clean machine. Bosch handles the fuel delivery with its EDC-16 system, capable of producing 29,700 psi of direct injection. The injector type is named "Pumpe Duse" (German for pump nozzle), which is another name for unit injector. The front of the engine does not have a mechanical fan or external belts. Instead, the accessories are driven inline inside a crankcase on the driver side of the engine.

From the front view of the engine, the only thing visible is a huge harmonic dampener. According to Worldcarfans.com, to further control vibrations a counter-rotating balancer shaft is used in conjunction with a crankpin offset of 18 degrees. Changing the oil on this beast requires 14.3 quarts with a filter.

Whereas most of its competitors add industrial hooks, multiple giant emblems, huge roof racks, plastic trim, etc., the VW has a simple appearance. The sheet metal is fully galvanized. The Galapagos Metallic paint is smooth and has little orange peel.

The air suspension raises and lowers just like a tortoise in order to keep its belly from getting hung up. When you put your foot down, the Touareg's chassis flattens like a turtle shell and scoots just like in Super Mario Brothers.

The Touareg is like a football team's quarterback. While burly, it is designed not to get touched. To protect its blindside, there is a backup camera employing a digital grid. Radar sensors bring information to a display located on the dash to keep your bumpers from bumping. The 19-inch rims are concave and do stick out slightly past the tires. Be careful not to scrape them on rocks or curbs. The front skidplates are plastic, but there are two metal rails up front that would protect the underbody in many situations. Nothing hangs down and the air dam is about an inch in length. Such a short dam is possible because of the air suspension with six different ride heights. Dampening force is also adjustable with three different settings. The Touareg 2 features a symmetrical approach and departure angles of 33 degrees at maximum height. Extremely low gearing and a locker in both the transfer case and rear differential give the driver incredible traction. Computer systems make off-roading with the Touareg effortless. The challenge became trying to make this levelheaded beast lose control. If you drive this VW off-road, it will change your driving style. Although it can crawl, thanks to its smart traction devices, this rally car was born to go fast and relies on momentum more than articulation.

The U.S. version of the Volkswagen Touareg 2 has its top speed limited to 130 mph. At 70 mph the engine turns at 1,800 rpm. This thing wanted to go faster than 80 mph, and luckily the VW engineers haven't quite created artificial intelligence.

At a standstill, there is virtually no noise, and this theme continues at highway speeds. In turns, the VW's 5,825 pounds feels more like 6,800 pounds. Its advanced and massive brakes can handle the weight and stopping is no problem. The power is smooth and constant, and whatever speed you want is a foot tap away.

Fuel economy is good considering the performance and weight of this vehicle. With an aerodynamic coefficient of .38 and inherently efficient turbodiesel, the Touareg 2 is officially rated at 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. Our tests produced a best of 21.6 mpg on the highway at 75 mph and a worst of 16.8 mpg while on trails, in sand, and stopping to take pictures. Our average was a respectable 18.6 mpg, everything considered.

Specifications
'08 TOUAREG 2 V10 TDI Twin Turbo
Construction: Unibody
Assembly Plants: Engine-Germany, Transmission-Japan
Final Assembly-Slovakia
Base Diesel MSRP: $68,340
As Tested MSRP: $79,080
Engine: V-10 TDI twin-turbo
Type: 10-cylinder, 2V, 90 diesel
Displacement: 300.2 cubic inches
Bore: 3.19 inches
Stroke: 3.76 inches
Valvetrain: Single overhead camshaft, spur-belt driven, two valves per cylinder, maintenance-free hydraulic lifters
Block Material: Cast iron
Head Material: Aluminum alloy, crossflow
Fuel Injection: Bosch EDC-16
Fuel Injectors: Bosch unit injectors
Compression Ratio: 18.0:1
Turbo: Twin Garrett (GT1852V)
Manufacturer Power: 310 hp at 3,750 rpm
Manufacturer Torque: 553 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm
Oil Capacity (with filter): 14.3 qt
Emissions Controls: Bin 10 EPA Federal Emissions-43 state only
Transmission: Aisin six-speed automatic with manual controls
Gear Ratios: 1st: 4.15, 2nd: 2.37, 3rd: 1.56, 4th: 1.16, 5th: 0.86, 6th: 0.69, Reverse: 3.39
Transfer Case: New Venture Gear 235
Type: 4XMotion permanent four-wheel-drive system
Operating Modes: Electronic two-speed
Low Range Ratio: 2.66
Center Differential Type: Adaptive torque distribution with center differential lock

PERFORMANCE
DRAGSTRIP:
RUN ELAPSED TIME MPH
1 15.15 seconds 89.87 mph
2 15.40 seconds 90.53 mph
FUEL ECONOMY:
MILES GALLONS MPG CONDITIONS
400 18.56 21.6 Dyno, 75 mph on freeway
279 15.93 17.5 Highway, city, and drag racing
142 8.47 16.8 Driving to trails, rallying
through sand, and stopping
to take pictures

Dimmensions
Wheelbase (in.): 112.4
Track, Front (in.): 65.2
Track, REAR (in.): 65.7
Overall Width (in.): 75.9
Overall Height (in.): 68.0
Ground Clearance (in.): Adjustable
Ramp Breakover Angle (DEG.): 27
Fording Depth (in.): 22.8
Drag Coefficient (CD.): .38
Fuel-Tank Capacity (GAL.): 26.4
Curb Weight As Tested (lb.): 5,825
Overall Length (in.): 187.2
Body Width (in.): 75.9

Interior
Seating Capacity (Front/Rear): 2/3
Front Volume (CU. FT.): 55.1
Head Room (in.): 38.7
Shoulder Room (in.): 57.7
Leg Room (In.): 41.3
Rear Volume (CU.FT.): 44.4

Cargo Volume
Behind Rear Seat (CU. FT.): 31
Behind Front-Row Seats With Rear Seats
Folded (CU. FT.): 71
Towing Capacity (LB.): 7,716

Suspension
Front: Double wishbone with four corner adjustable ride heights and continuous damping control (CDC) with three adjustable settings
Rear: Four-link rear independent suspension with six adjustable ride heights and continuous damping control (CDC) with three adjustable settings

Brakes
Front: Power-assisted 13-inch vented disc/anti-lock braking system (ABS)/hydraulic brake assist (HBA)
Rear: Power-assisted 13-inch vented disc/anti-lock braking system (ABS)/hydraulic brake assist (HBA)

Tires & Wheels
Wheel Size: 19-inch alloy
Tire Size: 275/45 R19

Driving Impressions
Normally, I am not impressed by a car, truck, or SUV with gizmos and gadgets. I drive a $2,700 truck and it works just fine, thank you. So why do I like the $80,000 Touareg?

It has every gizmo and gadget you could ever imagine, as well as a few I'm sure I wouldn't have ever thought of. The backup cam with the grid is helpful, as are the lights in the side mirrors. You can raise it up when you go off-road, and lower it for the twisties. It has plenty of cargo space and gets more than 20 mpg, even at 80 mph. According to the dyno results, it has almost 380 hp at the crank.

The simple fact is that the Touareg does everything extremely well and gives you very few things to dislike about it-just as an $80,000 vehicle should. -Jason Sands

What's not to like about a diesel SUV with a twin-turbo V-10 engine and more torque than a 7.3L-powered Ford F-550? Not a whole lot, but I have to ask myself, "Is it twice as good as our $42,000 3.0L diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee?" I'm not sure that it is, but I still want one for my collection.

Think about it-20 years from now when we look back on what is sure to be known as the second muscle car generation (1993-2008), the V-10 VW Touareg will be one of the most highly sought after diesel vehicles on the collector car market. Its adjustable-height air suspension, low-range equipped transfer case, and selectable rear locker will no doubt have been legislated into extinction and gone the way of dual quad carburetors and mechanical injection.

Twenty years from now I'm sure I will have forgotten the odd engine vibration I felt through the floorboard when the transmission was in gear and my foot was on the brake. Twenty years from now my memory of all of the blind spots this high-beltlined SUV has will likely have faded away. Twenty years from now I won't recall that you had to inflate the spare tire (using the on-board air compressor) before you installed it on the Touareg. But twenty years from now I'm certain I will remember the V-10's power, and I suspect it will still be the most impressive diesel production vehicle sold in the U.S. -David Kennedy

SOURCES
Volkswagen
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