Intro: Oversized re-incarnate
Volkswagens most powerful engine has finally been installed under the bonnet of the Touareg. Already doted with an expansive range of power plants, the only motor missing from the brands 4X4 was the 450 horsepower W12 to take on the Porsche Cayenne Turbo both in luxury and performance. The two cousins are now the most powerful SUVs on the market. BMWs X5 4.8is and the Mercedes ML500 arent even close. The Touareg W12 will be rarer then hens teeth because only 350 units will be built for the worldwide market.
Esthetique: Very tidy
Exclusive, it is also very pleasing to the eye with its Sport Design pack. It includes bumpers matching the colour of the bodywork, wheel arch extensions, new
Bi-xenon headlamps, which can be adjusted even in corners. And there is plenty of chrome to go round all of which is mounted on a set of superb light-alloy 20-inch wheels.
At the back, a hard to miss roof spoiler and two chromed plated double exhaust pipes. The list is very long but another piece of equipment that we liked is the anodised silver roof luggage racks. The windows are tinted and it comes with a visual and audio front and rear parking system and it comes in three colours : black, grey or blue. So well fitted out, the Touareg W12 Sports look is massive and particularly well thought out, making it really stand out from the rest of the production.
The inside features brushed aluminium everywhere from the door panels to the central console and the sport seats are a mix of leather and Alcantara. All the options in the catalogue are standard issue on the W12... like, for example, GPS and the four-zone air-conditioning.
Motorization: W12 ATMO
The real story is under the hood : a normally aspirated W12 producing 450 horsepower with 600 Newton
metres of torque that allow the Touareg to accelerate from naught to 100km/h in 5.9 seconds, which isnt too shabby for a vehicle weighing in at 2.5 tons. This 6-litre engine can also be found in the Audi A8 and even in certain Lamborghinis.
On the road: Silence and performance
When climbing aboard and getting behind the wheel, comparisons to the Cayenne Turbo come to mind and one asks if this Touareg W12 is as impressive as its German cousin? And no...it is undeniably fast. The least little pressure to the gas pedal will set off the flashes from the roadside radar and threaten you driving privileges, but it is just a bit too tame... The kick in the backside, so characteristic of the Cayenne
just isnt there. The breaks work well enough, but compared to the Porsche they lack serious bite, with a Touareg best to break a touch early. The Triptronic gearbox isnt very sporty either; shifting of gears is too slow. Of course, the Touareg rolls in the corners but again, not like the Cayenne
. The suspension is made for comfort but if you want a bit more aggressiveness youll have to switch to Sport mode.
When riding in a Touareg you are in a very comfortable and quite vehicle and a trip from Paris
to St. Tropez wont wear you out. Having said that, such a voyage will be interrupted with frequent petrol stops... fuel consumption is a thirsty 16-litres per 100kms in normal driving conditions and more than 20 when in a hurry. It is clear; the Touareg W12 is synonymous with excessiveness.