Touareg R50: Volkswagen's First World Premiere In Australia
14th October, 2007
In a world premiere, Volkswagen is presenting the new Touareg R50 at the Sydney Motor Show. Serving up a powerful 258 kW (at 3,500 rpm), this new Volkswagen is one of the most powerful SUVs in the world. It was developed by a team of specialists at Volkswagen Individual GmbH. After the legendary Golf R32 and the Passat R36 – recently shown in Frankfurt at the IAA 2007 – Volkswagen is now presenting its third model under the sporty “R” label, the Touareg R50. All three models have 4MOTION all-wheel drive guaranteeing optimal traction.
The R50 Engine
The excellent driving dynamics of the Touareg R50 are less the result of pure top acceleration values than of torque levels that are nearly unattainable by the competition. At just 2,000 rpm the SUV’s ten-cylinder TDI develops a maximum torque of an amazing 850 Newton-metres. This means that every gear and speed range offers torque-laden power like no other SUV.
The bi-turbo diesel of the Touareg R50 was derived from the familiar V10 TDI with 230 kW. Adjustments to its bi-turbo charging and modified engine management made it possible to boost engine power by 28 kW and increase torque by a considerable 100 Newton-metres. Under these new performance parameters, the SUV accelerates to 100 km/h in just 6.8 seconds (standard production SUV: 7.4 seconds). Its top speed is 235 km/h. Compared to similarly powered petrol engines, the fuel consumption of the ten-cylinder diesel engine is low: On the motorway consumption is 9.6 litres and its combined fuel economy is 12.6 litres. Despite the big plus in performance and torque, the fuel consumption rates have remained constant.
Overview of R50 Features
Apart from an increase in performance, Volkswagen Individual GmbH designed new exterior and interior features to reflect the R philosophy. From the outside, the new Touareg R50 is easily recognisable with its 21-inch Omanyt-type alloy wheels with 295 tyres, blue painted brake callipers, discrete wheel well flares and independent bumpers. Inside, the features include a sports seat system in anthracite coloured napa leather with integrated R50 logo in the headrestraints.
The dark interior design is a particularly harmonious complement to the Biscay Blue exterior colour that was specially developed for the Touareg R50. Blue hues of this type have been typical of power-boosted Volkswagen R models since the first Golf R32 in 2002. Optional car colours on the Touareg R50 are Campanella White, Reflex Silver, Black Magic and Atacama Grey.
R50 Exterior Features
As part of its standard worldwide features, the Touareg R50 will be delivered with a Sport design package in what is known as the R Look. It clearly highlights the dynamic character of the most powerful European diesel SUV. The design package for the front includes the radiator grille typical of the R models in matt chrome with dual chrome fins. The lower radiator air inlet sports a grille in a honeycomb look. This look is also applied to the screen in front of the two intercoolers (on the left and right under the headlamps) and the fog lamp surrounds. Distinctive: The crosspiece of the front spoiler in Reflex Silver. The front skirt also exhibits an independent design.
Part of the Sport design package are the colour coded wheel well and side skirt flares as well as flaps – aerodynamic components near the front and rear axles. The most powerful diesel Touareg is also clearly recognised as an R model at its rear end. Here it is the colour coded roof edge spoiler, the distinctive bumper with diffuser in Reflex Silver and oval tailpipes that round up the Sport design package. In addition, the R50 badge on the tailgate and the radiator grille draw attention to the Touareg TDI. Also as standard: Tinted rear windows (65 per cent light-absorbing, starting at the pillars) and bi-xenon headlights.
The exclusive standard features also include an air-suspension sports chassis being introduced for the first time in 2007 on the new Touareg generation. The driving dynamics package with adaptive roll compensation and a chassis lowered by twenty millimetres complement the existing Sport mode of the manually or automatically controlled air suspension with a stiffer spring rate. Important: In the suspension’s comfort mode, driving comfort remains just as good as on versions without sports chassis.
R50 Interior Features
The interior of the Touareg – with its timeless clarity and high-end design from the factory – was further refined and tuned for the R50. Anthracite coloured napa leather distinguishes the standard sports seating system with R50 logo in the headrests. The logo is also integrated in the stainless steel tread plates. Working with the sporty character of the Touareg is the light-coloured engine spin decor of the interior – a metallic structure similar to that previously used on race cars – as well as metal worked caps for the accelerator and brake pedals.
An R logo decorates the gearshift lever for the six-speed automatic transmission (Tiptronic). Standard features of the Touareg R50 also include a Winter package (including heated seats at outer seating positions in the rear), the Premium Memory Package (including electrically adjustable seats, steering column and seatbelt height), a net partition behind the rear seats and a ski bag.
High-End R50 Safety Features
ABSplus: This is an innovative new system developed by Volkswagen. The technology shortens the braking distance of the Touareg R50 on loose surfaces – that is, especially in off-road operation – by up to 20 per cent! A clear gain in safety!
Driving dynamics package with roll compensation: The R50 is equipped with an innovative sport chassis. The so-called Driving Dynamics Package with roll compensation supplements the already existing Sport mode of the manually and automatically controlled air suspension by adding a stiffer spring characteristic. The system counteracts body roll of the car when cornering by actuating the electronically controlled dampers.
Rear Assist rear-view camera: As an optional feature, Volkswagen is offering a rear-view camera. The wide-angle camera is located on the tailgate, to the upper right of the license plate. It transmits a real image to the navigation system display. Even small obstacles are easily recognised in the area below window visibility limits. To make manoeuvring easier, the display also shows the vehicle’s path in response to steering inputs.
Overview of the R Models
With the first R model in 2002, the R32 (177 kW) which is based on the fourth generation best¬selling Golf, Volkswagen already satisfied wishes for an exclusively equipped top-end Golf with a very impressive powerplant. Some 14,000 units were sold globally, far more than expected.
This success generated the vision of developing an entire series of R models for the future – a job well-suited to Volkswagen Individual GmbH. In 2005, the second version Golf R32 made its debut, equipped with a powerful 184 kW engine and standard 4MOTION all-wheel drive. The Passat R36 captivates with its remarkable understatement. The most powerful Passat of all times is driven by a 3.6 litre displacement V6 direct-injection petrol engine (3.6 FSI) with 220 kW.
The new Volkswagen Touareg R50 will be released globally from late in the first quarter of 2008. That should see this new model to the over-achieving Touareg range make it to Australian shores in April or May next year. By having its international debut in Australia demonstrates how strongly Volkswagen Group Australia is performing. The highly successful Australian arm of Volkswagen is clearly on the map in Wolfsburg!
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