Home » I Once Did A Two-Minute Presentation On A Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI And Got An ‘A’

I Once Did A Two-Minute Presentation On A Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI And Got An ‘A’

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Happy Sunday, Autopians! This morning I was scrolling through my YouTube recommendations and came across the infamous Fifth Gear video of the Volkswagen Touareg towing a Boeing 747. Obviously, I had to rewatch it for probably the 45th time since it came out. While doing so, I suddenly remembered that I did an entire (two-minute!) presentation on the Touareg V10 TDI during my freshman year of college. 


While drafting my schedule for my Spring 2022 semester, I came across a class titled, “Volkswagen and Beyond” in the course registry. Naturally, I freaked out and immediately registered for it, even though it did not fulfill a single requirement for my degree. I was also shocked that my school, Binghamton University in upstate New York, offered a class like this. I remember walking to the lecture hall on the first day of classes and thinking, “Oh, I can’t wait… this will be the best class ever, full of Passats and Cayennes and Audi R8s.”

Nope. The syllabus was heavy on the “…and beyond” aspect of the title. The course ended up consisting of a lot of German printmaking, architecture, urban planning, etc, which is fine because I do enjoy learning about that. But I was still disappointed when we didn’t get to laugh at Audis and VWs plagued with brake dust. (Editor’s Note: You didn’t read the course description or look up the professor’s background? I’d make some “Kids these days” remark but I know I did similarly dumb shit in college too, so. -PG)

Anyways, we were immediately tasked with creating a two-minute “speed presentation” on anything related to Germany. That was it; no other guidelines. Naturally, I expected my fellow peers to make boring presentations consisting of Beetles and the Autobahn and German beer. Talk about a snoozefest.

Of course, I knew I had to one-up them. I decided to do a presentation on the Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI and here it is: 

Screen Shot 2023 03 19 At 9.49.04 Am

I basically stood in front of 50 other students and my professor, most of whom were fluent in German, and argued for this marvelous piece of engineering. I discussed its power, luxurious features, and its capabilities. It worked, as I had a shocking amount of questions from my peers mostly consisting of, “Where can I buy one?” I don’t know man, Facebook Marketplace? I even managed to crack a smile, although he was wearing a mask, from my professor. I could just tell by his expression. 

Why do I enjoy these magnificent creatures so much? Well, it’s in the name, “Touareg V10 TDI.” It’s already a first-generation Touareg touting the best of the best in terms of VW tech of 2002: air suspension, buttery leather seats, and room for five adults comfortably. It has a V10. A family SUV with a V10. I can just imagine myself driving up to Vermont in one of these and presumably breaking down on a country road somewhere.

It’s also a TDI. In a world with fewer diesels than there were before 2015, it is simply a unicorn. Just being in a first-generation Touareg is a treat, but one with a V10 turbodiesel? Take my thousands and thousands of dollars for repairs, please. 

Theoretically, I told a bunch of broke college students to go out and buy a 20-year-old used Volkswagen, let alone one with a freakin’ V10 in it. A TDI, nonetheless! Oh, I should note that for my final presentation, we were assigned a topic.

Would you like to know what the professor assigned me? It begins with “Diesel” and ends with “gate.” Dieselgate! He knew what he was doing; punishing me for enlightening my peers on the best disastrous delight ever manufactured: the VW Touareg V10 TDI. 

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26 Responses

  1. I worked at a jeep/vw dealership when these were new and the book time on really regular things was mind boggling. Like 9hrs for a thermostat. That said, I absolutely want one, but I would do all my own work

  2. The Touareg V10 TDI is one of my childhood dream cars!

    Should you ever find yourself out in the Chicago area during the spring, summer, or fall, I’ll let you drive mine!! It’s even more ridiculous than it says on the tin and has the power to turn you into a villain. It sounds like a clattery Lamborghini V10 and you can hear the sweet timing gears too. 🙂

  3. Thanks, Rob, for these weekend posts.
    Been awhile since Dieselgate; maybe revamp it and publish it as an article here? Just a thought-some younger readers may not know much of it.

    1. It’s a great V10 – it’s a beeech of a package. It’s like someone did a Ford 7.3 Powerstroke into a Honda SUV – including the axles. Ok the Ford doesn’t have independent suspension = but the brakes on my V10 make the Ford of the same time 2004-ish time period look inadequate. But that V10 engine with huuuuge OHC heads is JAMMED in there. It should have a tilt front end or something.

    2. I would expand this to “Any engine with more than 8 cylinders is inherently good”. Yes, the Jag V12 is a nightmare, but it is a V12 and therefore good.

    3. Honestly, the engine itself isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be. These are pre-Dieselgate era, so they lack the equipment that usually breaks in the later cars. Timing gears, too, so no worrying about those awful VW timing chains. I know a lot of these things with over 200,000 miles, some over 300,000 miles. Mine sits at 192,000 and still works fine.

      It’s really just the packaging that kills it. It’s awesome to have a V10 twin-turbo diesel in a small-ish SUV, but basically *everything* drivetrain related is an ordeal to fix. Gotta drop the engine for…well, everything, and dealers that can service these things use a special support rig to do it.

      1. Bet you heard that all the time in junior high? Probably not.

        Oh shit! It just really occurred to me that you probably did suffer some saliva based bullying when you were in school. Sorry if I surfed that wake. Call me Thud whenever you like.

  4. I’ve Worked on these many of times. great cars, but that engine and trans is packed in there. Ended up buying the table to drop the motor, a lot easier.

  5. Hey Rob, not sure if this is your first week, but welcome! And if the other guys start to bully you because of the Touareg, I am sure Mercedes will defend you 🙂

  6. I did a one-page paper in my 2nd English class (do your homework kids!) during my college years going through Mopar CAP about the 8.4L Viper’s cam-in-cam design.
    Got an A out of it if I remember correctly!

  7. I have one. It needed cams at 105k. This is a huge hassle in Alaska to get a mechanic who will touch it. Also a huge hassle to get it back from them when it was done, it took months and months (covid didn’t help) . However, my wife loves it. It’s very comfortable and is a tank on ice and snow. It won’t just tow a 747 – it accelerates like one. The v10 shoves you back in your seat – and doesn’t stop till you are ready to take off ……. your foot cause you are chickening out way before 150mph. I also have the V8 version, also with air suspension. I’m a glutton for punishment. The v10 womps the v8 despite both being 300hp.

  8. I found a way to do not one but three presentations on mk2/3 vws. Two in college, one in a communication course, one in German. Then I did one during a professional course while working a real paying job which was a updated rework of the previous two. I applaud your efforts.

  9. The V10 is a blast to drive I’ve recently bought a 2009 Touareg V10 TDI and this one is a bit special. It’s the North Sails edition with white leather seats, double pane glass, quad zone climate, Adaptive Cruise Control with radar and other goodies. Ever since I’ve bought it I’ve been looking at things to tow with it. It’s like when you’re given a hammer and everything seems like a nail. The same goes with the V10 everything seems to need a tow to somewhere.

  10. Heh, I always liked to push the limits of an assignment. I had to do a serious film review once in high school, with my English teacher expecting us to go out and see the usual kind of Oscar-bait. Oh, no. I made the case for a geopolitical analysis of “Die Another Day”—yes, the one with the diamond-faced villain and the ridiculous space lasers. It ruled.

    Other highlights of my academic career: reviewing “The Puffalumps’ Pillow Tales” when asked to do a project on a children’s book and analyzing a song from “SpongeBob SquarePants” for a similarly serious musical analysis. The car-nerd jewel was probably in college, though, where a summer elective on anime (!) let me do a lengthy presentation on Initial D.

  11. Engine out repair with a special hoist needed that most shops dont have? For things like O2 sensors or a turbo replacement?

    You didnt mention the Alternator is special and if I remember right, both chain driven and watercooled.

    I want one but only with a modded ecu to delete the O2 sensors and run purely off MAP. Any engine work is scary to think about though.

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