If you want proof that Europe’s appetite for powerful SUVs is alive and well, see the two latest engines to be added to Volkswagen’s Touareg range. Following last month’s announcement of a 421hp diesel V8 for our neighbours on the continent, Britain’s now being given a new top petrol V6 variant that produces a rather healthy 340hp.
Using Volkswagen’s 3.0-litre TSI motor, this most potent UK Touareg has enough punch to match the pricier BMW X5 40i. It can sprint from zero to 62mph in 5.9 seconds and, more significantly for a car of this type, also tow up to 3.5 tonnes. Key to this is the V6’s peak of 332lb ft of torque, which arrives from just above idle at 1,340rpm and hangs on until 5,300rpm.
Ok, Europe’s 4.0 V8 diesel provides a far, far superior 664lb ft, but the V6 petrol is at least a significantly lighter lump, which ought to aid handling. Even compared to the smaller 3.0-litre diesel our top V6 petrol is 50kg lighter. It comes mated to the same eight-speed Tiptronic automatic as the rest of the range and drives all four wheels via VW’s 4Motion hardware.
No other changes have been brought with the new powerplant, meaning you still get a circa two tonne SUV with a 679-litre boot and space to seat five adults. Opt for the top R-Line or R-Line Tech versions and VW’s sharp-looking SUV gets a sporting makeover, although the 340hp engine is also available with the cheaper and more discrete SEL trim. Prices for that start at £52,635.
Want one? You won’t have to wait long as orders are being taken now and first deliveries are due in April. Perfect timing for a new track car tow machine to arrive…