10 March 2008

And you thought the Cayenne was bad…

VW raises the SUV-rage stakes with diesel-downing R50 Touareg

VW Touareg

The VW Touareg has always been a more socially acceptable alternative to the hippo-faced, rage-inducing Porsche Cayenne. Especially in diesel flavour.

But now you can get yourself a diesel Touareg with even more eco-riot potential than the Cayenne in the shape of this, the R50.

This is the most powerful Touareg ever, powered by VW's five-litre V10 TDI but tuned for even more growly oil-burning torque. 627lb ft of the stuff, to be exact, along with 345bhp.

As VW proved in a rather neat publicity stunt, the old V10 Touareg could pull a Boeing 747, so we're expecting the R50 to be able to haul a small planet at least. Might slow down the R50's claimed acceleration of 6.5 seconds to 62mph, though.

Well, at least you can claim diesel economy while you're being berated by an irate green, can't you? Erm, no. The R50 returns 22.4mpg and a not-very-acceptable 333g/km of CO2 - making it even less economical and more polluting than the Cayenne S.

Completing the picture of social unacceptability is a ride height lowered by 20mm, roof spoiler, bodykit, twin oval tailpipes and a set of 21-inch alloys. Yes, 21-inchers... and they look pretty modest in those fatter arches, don't they?

At nearly 62 grand, even the R50's price tag is enough to draw a sharp intake of breath. VW says that only a limited number of R50s will reach the UK, though whether that's because of limited supply or they're expecting the delivery ferry to get deliberately scuttled at Dover, we're not sure.

Contrary bunch that we are, we like the R50. We're barricading ourselves into Fortress Top Gear already.


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