The turbocharger, served by two intercoolers, has variable turbine geometry, with vane angles controlled by an electric servo motor. And get this: it’s ribbed. The engine block has fluting to diminish vibration, and “all pathways on the engine mounts that could transmit vibrations to the interior have been eliminated.” Finally, to aid engine packaging, the ancillaries and camshafts are driven by maintenance free chains mounted in back of the engine.
So, what’s all that get you? A torquey little V6 that grinds out 221 hp and 407 lb-ft. That latter number comes as soon as 1,750 rpm, obviating the need for much footwork with the pedal on the right when it’s time to git ‘er done. 0-60 miles-per-hour is estimated at 8.5 seconds, which isn’t all that bad for what is probably a 5,000-plus-pound vehicle (VW hasn’t divulged its weight yet, but the Touareg V10 TDI rocked the scales at 5,800 pounds).
It’s not a sprinter, obviously, although neither is it a laggard. It is the marathon – or perhaps, the ultramarathon – where this car makes its name. VW says you’ll get from Kokomo to the Poconos on one tank, which is 600+ miles for those of us who have nothing to do with either locale. Strictly by the numbers, you could go 660 miles if you used every drop of diesel in the truck: the Touareg is rated at 25 miles-per-gallon on the highway, and has a 26.4-gallon tank.