Volkswagen’s luxurious V10 TDI diesel engine with 5 liters and 750 Nm


There was a time when Volkswagen was thinking of luxury cars with ten-cylinder diesel engines. A past tense, better?

And at a time like this, in which all of today, the present, and the future, is dominated by electric cars, we love to remember those most iconic engines and those ideas that today may seem crazy and necessarily incomprehensible by today’s standards, such as a ten-cylinder diesel engine.

And it is that twenty years later the industry has not only evolved towards the paradigm of small engines and downsizing. But today most car manufacturers do not consider anything other than electric vehicles, especially when it comes to luxury cars.

Volkswagen Concept D.

Those wonderful years of diesel

At the end of the 1990s, Ferdinand Piëch conceived the idea of ​​a luxury car, which would reflect the aspirations of Volkswagen and which would position the brand at the level of its compatriots and brands such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW. While the German premiums expanded their range, from below, trying to capture a broader spectrum of customers, Volkswagen opted to be more luxurious.

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The Volkswagen Concept D marked the way forward and anticipated what the future Phaeton would be likewith a kind of luxury sedan with rear type hatchback which – probably not by chance – also reminds us of what a decade later would be the Porsche Panamera.

The tag D of that prototype presented in 1999 already anticipated what it would carry under the hood, a lavish V10 TDI diesel engine.

Volkswagen Phaeton (left), next to the Phaeton D2 prototype (right) that could have been its second generation.

Volkswagen’s V10 TDI diesel engine

Volkswagen unveiled a ten-cylinder diesel engine, a V10 TDI that delivered 313 HP of power and a torque of 750 Nm at just 2,000 rpm. An engine with a reputation for being delicate, which a few months ago we could see approaching 240 km/h in a Touareg rolling on the Autobahn.

In those years Volkswagen launched its ambitious plan, which not only involved launching a luxury car like the Volkswagen Phaeton, but also producing it in a new factory where the first stone was laid in 1999, the Gläserne Manufaktur – transparent factory – from Dresden. A factory that was intended to be a symbol of transparency, with its glass façade that revealed what was happening inside, but above all, an example of automation.

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The Volkswagen Phaeton arrived at dealerships in 2022 and, as it could not be less, it would end up equipping the V10 TDI engine. Y it would become the most powerful diesel sedan of the time.

Volkswagen Touareg.

Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI

We insist on how difficult it is to imagine a car with a ten-cylinder diesel engine at this time. But if there was a vehicle in which such an engine could fit perfectly, due to its off-road aspirations, its proportions and mass and, therefore, the need for a mechanic with a lot of torque and drag capacity, that was it. the Volkswagen Touareg.

The Volkswagen Touareg would arrive at dealerships with a V10 TDI engine which, with its five-liter displacement and two variable-geometry turbos, achieved spectacular performance for a diesel SUV of the time, accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds. Not bad for a mastodon of 2.5 tons. Let’s think that in those years a certain Volkswagen Golf R32 Mk4 would arrive at dealerships that would do 0 to 100 km/h in around 6.5 seconds.

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V10 TDI engine travel in Phaeton and Touareg would be limited. But that would not prevent Volkswagen from using other no less exceptional engines, and with many cylinders, such as the famous W12 (gasoline) that would last more than two decades on the market, and even a V12 TDI that would use the Audi Q7 and – for little – an Audi R8.


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