The Surprising New VW Touareg V8 TDI Is Volkswagen's Last V8 Diesel

Photo: VW

This year’s Geneva Motor Show was pretty much all about hybrid and electric cars, which is why it was surprising that Volkswagen showed up with a giant Touareg with a diesel V8, and called it the last V8 diesel they’d likely ever produce.

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I shouldn’t have to work too hard to spell out the irony of Volkswagen, the company initially wrapped up by the Dieselgate diesel emissions cheating scandal, bringing a diesel V8 to a European car show where everyone else has seemingly moved on to what’s next.

Top Gear caught up with Jurgen Stackmann, head of marketing for VW, to ask how the company managed to produce a 419 horsepower, 664 lb-ft of torque diesel V8 crossover after a scandal that forced it to invest billions in a future electric lineup and electric-charging infrastructure.

Here’s the quote from Top Gear:

He laughs heartily. “I love it actually. It’s such a statement, for Volkswagen!”

But why a Touareg? Surely a Porsche Cayenne S Diesel makes more sense, as Porsche is, well, better known for fast cars?

“We had a long debate, and we believe Touareg is a prime car. It can handle any competitor from around the world. Giving it a V8 twist is a very special honour, and I believe it’s going to be a collector’s car, from day one.”

Hardly a Porsche 911 R or LaFerrari, is it? But Stackmann is resolute in his belief that what the world needs now is V8 Touareg diesel, sweet V8 diesel.

“I’ve met a lot of Touareg V10 TDI customers, and those that have one will never sell it. It’ll be the same idea with the V8. It’s for those customers who want something very special, and they’ll get it.

“Most likely, it’ll be the last V8 diesel car you’ll see.”

Well, it’ll be the last V8 diesel that Europe sees, as there’s no chance it would come to the U.S. Stackmann also clarified that the V8 won’t find its way into any other cars, so the Touareg is it.

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The big diesel crossover should fit nicely in the company’s eclectic lineage of weird, anonymous, big-engined powerful models, like the Touareg V10 TDI and W12 Phaeton. Who doesn’t love a car with heaps of power and just a little bit of spite.

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