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2020 VW Touareg V8 TDI – 3 2020 Volkswagen Touareg V8 TDI coming to Aus replete with 900Nm

Volkswagen’s top-of-the-line V8 Touareg will arrive in Australia in R-line guise in the fourth quarter of this year. An astonishing 900Nm of twisting force is to be dished out by a twin-turbo diesel V8, and it sounds like this brute of a Touareg will be priced below $160,000.

A range-topping, barnstorming Touareg may sound a little silly, but it’s not something new for Volkswagen; the original Touareg had a whopping great V10 hung over its front axle back in 2007.

And it promises plenty of value, too, if the indication that the new variant will start at under $160,000 is correct it will drastically undercut similarly powered rivals. That is, except for the unhinged Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk which has a frankly insane dollars to kilowatts ratio.

2020 VW Touareg V8 TDI – 2
The Touareg V8 TDI – perfect for chauffeuring horses.

Of course, the Touareg V8 shares many of its underpinnings with Audi’s recently updated SQ7, including that diesel V8, there’s also the brand-new BMW X5M Competition and Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S, both lither, honed, and more expensive.

Powering the range-topping Touareg is a four-litre twin-turbo diesel V8. The power output isn’t crazy at only 310kW. However, the 900Nm dollop of torque should make for swift progress. 

There’s some cool tech on the Volkswagen engine, too, the larger of the two turbos gets exhaust gas diverted away, essentially shutting off below 2,200RPM to improve response. 

2020 VW Touareg V8 TDI
Volkswagen borrowed the grunt from Audi’s SQ7.

Above that, the diverter valve re-opens, allowing the larger second turbo to come into action. Those 900Nm of torque are on tap between 1,250-3,250 RPM, and peak power arrives between 3,500-5,000RPM.

To top it off the WLTP claimed fuel consumption is 7.4l/100km, we reckon that’s pretty impressive and will surely make for an excellent highway bruiser.

We presume air-suspension – a must on other grades of Touareg – will be standard on the V8 TDI; it just makes sense. And if that is the case, our testing has confirmed the big Volkswagen to be a comfortable, surprisingly opulent beast.

2020 VW Touareg V8 TDI – 4
The Touareg V8 TDI isn’t going to set any ring records, but that’s OK.

And yet the V8 TDI R-Line doesn’t boast its credentials with a shouty exterior. The R-Line looks mildly more aggressive than a cooking Touareg, but there’s a pleasing absence of black trimmings so usually associated with ‘sporting’ intentions.

In fact the pictures from Volkswagen spruik the Touareg’s towing prowess, it’s even fitted with bog-standard 17-inch alloys shod in all-terrain tyres, something we’re unlikely to see in Australia.

Because if we’re honest with ourselves, does anyone really need a seven-seat SUV honed for track use? It’s undoubtedly an impressive feat of engineering, but we like the idea of a more laid-back touring Touareg with effortless torque and long legs.

Volkswagen Touareg 2019 black interior
Australian cars will likely come with a 15-inch touchscreen as standard.

Inside the Touareg expect to find Volkswagen’s fantastic digital driver display and a generous 15-inch touchscreen on Australian cars, we usually get them pretty loaded. It’s also a lovely place to spend a lot of time.

With the Touareg already proving itself a strong performer in 190TDI guise, we reckon the brawnier V8 should lend the Volkswagen even more refinement and luxury feel that may very well be enough to shake-up in-house competitors from Audi and even Bentley.

The V8 TDI arrives in Australia in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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2020 volkswagen Amarok 580S 4 Vokswagen Amarok 580S limited edition gets more black

Volkswagen Australia has detailed a special 580S version of the ever-popular Amarok ute; it’s loaded up with goodies inside and out, although there’s a conspicuous absence of added off-road ability.

The $70,990 ($77,507 driveaway) Amarok 580S edition commands a $6,000 premium over the $64,990 ($71,181 driveaway) 580 Highline and is available to order through Volkswagen’s online ordering platform.

Over $70,000 is an awful lot for a ‘work’ vehicle. Still, we know that Volkswagen’s current Amarok does offer a fantastic amount of everyday usability. However, its off-road chops might come into question against Ford’s Ranger, Nissan’s Navara and the venerable Toyota Hilux.

2020 volkswagen Amarok 580S 2
86-watt LED lights are standard on the 580S.

Now, we know that the dual-cab marketplace will be shaken up soon; a new Ranger and Amarok are on the way, as is an all-new Hilux.

But that doesn’t mean the 580S should be ignored; Volkswagen has thrown quite the catalogue of extras at the Amarok for this limited run of 200 units.

First and foremost is the exclusive carbon steel grey paintwork – though customers can opt for deep black pearl or candy white too. Additional lighting has been added thanks to a roof-mounted light bar sporting dual 86-watt LED lights.

2020 volkswagen Amarok 580S
Lots of black going on here.

More black makes an appearance on the 20-inch alloy wheels – which won’t be much good for the mud – a different body-colour front bumper, and premium black rollover protection.

Heated front seats make a welcome appearance, as does art velour upholstery, a black headliner and pillar trim. 

Under the bonnet is the same class-leading turbo-diesel V6 producing the same 200kW (on over-boost) and 580Nm, a refined and surprisingly car-like powertrain. Twisting force is shared between all four wheels via an eight-speed torque converter auto as standard.

2020 volkswagen Amarok 580S 3
20-inch Alloys look good.

For the 200 units, it’s clear Volkswagen have prioritised the Amarok’s pulling card – it’s on-road manners – instead of the trend for gnarlier off-road kit like the Navara N-Trek Warrior

That certainly bucks the current trend, but it makes total sense in our book. And we know the Amarok is capable enough to handle what most will throw at it off the beaten patch.

Conjecture runs rife about the next-gen Amarok, with indications there will be a Ranger Raptor style ‘super-ute’ to come. We await more news on that, though.

2020 volkswagen Amarok 580S 5
A dual-cab in its natural habitat.

For now we reckon the limited edition 580S looks purposeful in its black-on-black colourway, and Volkswagen says the special edition is selling fast on the new online sales platform.

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2019 ŠKODA KODIAQ RS side blue 2020 Skoda Kodiaq RS diesel confirmed for Australia

After a long period of negotiations with head office, Skoda Australia have locked in their hottest SUV model yet for Australia. The 2020 Skoda Kodiaq RS will run the same potent biturbo diesel engine seen in the European version of the vehicle that launched earlier this year.

The Kodiaq RS will be available for order from late 2019, Skoda says, which should mean the first customer deliveries will take place in late summer. A price will be confirmed later this year, but we predict an Australian price of around $60,000 before on-road costs.

2019 ŠKODA KODIAQ RS interior
Quilted suedecloth seats hold passengers in during sporty cornering.

Specification for the Kodiaq RS is similar in many ways to the current sporty Kodiaq variant – the petrol-powered 132TSI Sportline – with the major change being a substantial upgrade in engine outputs from the RS’s diesel donk, which was enough to secure the Kodiaq RS the Nurburgring lap record for seven-seater SUVs.

Skoda’s flagship SUV will usher in a 176kW/500Nm twin-turbocharged diesel four-cylinder that has remained forbidden fruit for Australian buyers for several years. The 176TDI engine is available overseas in a number of other Volkswagen Group products, including the Passat and Tiguan.

2019 ŠKODA KODIAQ RS front blue
A brighter colour palette will likely be available on the RS.

Green-lighting the Kodiaq RS was predicated on a reclassification of the Australian market from ‘hot and dusty’ to ‘moderately hot’ – a switch Skoda recently secured. A year ago, it was looking as though the Kodiaq RS had been ruled out for Australia.

Not only did the ‘hot and dusty’ classification restrict the 176TDI diesel engine, but it has also stopped Australian buyers from accessing full-output versions of the Volkswagen Golf GTI and R performance grades. The European specification of the Golf R, for example, is rated at 221kW/400Nm, while the ‘hot and dusty’ Australian version is capped at 213kW/380Nm.

2019 ŠKODA KODIAQ RS rear blue
An AWD system complements the 176kW/500Nm diesel engine.

So, can we expect to receive European outputs in future? We put the question to the general manager of corporate communications at both Skoda and Volkswagen Australia, Paul Pottinger.

“While this announcement applies to Skoda for now, potentially it means that “full cream” variants of [Volkswagen] Group products will no longer be off limits for our market,” said Mr Pottinger, specifically naming the above example of the Golf R.

We’ll have more when Skoda is ready to announce a price and equipment list for the Kodiaq RS later in 2019.

Skoda Kodiaq RS white side
The Kodiaq RS also holds the Nurburgring lap record for seven-seaters.
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2018 Mazda 6 Touring diesel badge Mazda believes diesel engines “will make a comeback for sure”

Japanese automaker Mazda has issued another strong commitment to diesel engine technology. According to Mazda’s global head of powertrain development Eiji Nakai, the race away from diesel by some manufacturers is premature.

“Diesel engines will make a comeback, for sure,” Mr Nakai told Chasing Cars at a drive of the brand’s new Skyactiv-X petrol engine in Germany this month. The Skyactiv-X uses compression ignition – a hallmark of diesel engines – to lower fuel economy, and in many ways, is seen as an engine that combines classic petrol and diesel characteristics.

Mazda CX-30 front end
The new Mazda CX-30 has a diesel in Europe, but it isn’t coming to Australia.

“The benefit of a diesel is its specific heat ratio, and diesel engine technology already has this ability,” Mr Nakai said, referring to the significant work that Mazda invested into achieving particularly lean burn characteristics in the Skyactiv-X engine.

“Sometimes people have bad impressions of diesel engines,” Mr Nakai said. “However, we’ll continue to improve [diesels], and wipe away those bad impressions.”

Mazda managing executive for powertrain development Ichiro Hirose confirmed to Chasing Cars last year that Mazda had no plan to phase out diesel engines.

2019 Mazda CX-5 Akera Soul Red Crystal front 3/3 detail
Diesel power maintains solid demand in the CX-5 SUV.

Earlier this year the brand confirmed to media that not only would diesel not be phased out, but development of new-generation diesel engines was underway, including in six-cylinder form.

“We look forward to new diesels,” Mr Nakai said in Frankfurt this month.

The company’s newest diesel, a 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit producing 85kW/270Nm, is available in Australia in the CX-3 small SUV, though takeup in that vehicle is low – around 2.5%. That was too low to justify bringing the new CX-30 diesel to Australia, Mazda sources say.

2018 Mazda CX-8 Asaki side
The CX-8 seven-seater is diesel only…

A larger 2.2-litre twin-turbocharged four-cylinder diesel is something of a staple in the Mazda lineup, available in the CX-5 and CX-8 SUVs. This engine, which produces 140kW/450Nm, makes up around 12% of CX-5 sales while the three-row CX-8 is diesel only.

Mazda is developing two inline six-cylinder engines at present – one gasoline and one diesel. The diesel unit will be turbocharged, and we predict it will produce around 190kW/550Nm in production form. 

2019 Mazda CX-9 Azami LE Machine Grey side driving
…mainly because of the lack of a diesel CX-9. A six-cylinder could solve that.

Though it is not currently known which vehicles will receive the six-cylinder diesel engine, the CX-9 SUV would be a prime candidate. Mazda have previously ruled out the 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel for the CX-9 due to inadequate power.

Mazda’s head of product planning Hiroyuki Matsumoto told Chasing Cars that the six-cylinder engine family was currently under development and would be released “as soon as possible.”

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