VW shows good design, weight and traction is everything in Jumbo jet towing test

July 13, 2007
VW shows  good design, weight  and traction is everything in Jumbo jet towing test

Wolfsburg: Wanna bet that a Touareg V10 TDI can tow a Boeing 747? A 155-ton jet? Never! Sure it can! This verbal exchange by two Volkswagen employees had consequences: A few months later a Volkswagen crew hooked up a new generation Touareg V10 TDI to a 747.

The certified result: The SUV pulled it off. But there is no rush of orders from airport operators wanting to replace their tow vehicles which weigh up to 70 tons with the significantly more economical Touareg.

This media release from Autonews website illustrates the essential weight and traction need for tow vehicles in towing heavy loads. There is an amazing ad on TV now recording the feat. The Touareg towed a Boeing 747 at the Dunsfold Aerodrome in England. The question raised by the VW crew was how powerful a modern, top range SUV with engine, four-wheel drive and chassis is.

To tow the big bird, the weight of the Volkswagen was increased. This is absolutely necessary so that the power of the engine can be converted into propelling force and applies in all towing situations. Traction slip is just rubber smoke.

So steel balls and steel plates were distributed in the SUV. Extra weight: 4,345 kg!

Total weight of the Touareg: 7,030 kilos. Weight distribution: 2,755 kilos in front, 4,275 kilos in back.

Volkswagen technician Uwe Krieghoff used the four-wheel drive control in LOW setting for reduced off-road speed.

50 percent of driving force was distributed to the front axle and 50 percent to the back. Krieghoff manually selected the second gear of the automatic transmission and accelerated slowly.

To get the 18 head-height wheels of the 155 ton 747 rolling from a standing position the greatest power was required in these few seconds. But the only thing that budged at first was the engine speed.

Krieghoff continued to push down the gas pedal to about halfway. And with no traction problems the Touareg and the Jumbo jet started moving.

A post check-up of the Touareg did not find any evidence of damage to the car.

The Volkswagen Touragen for 2007 has real grunt according to the specifications released on the Autonews website.

Towing is rated to 3500kg braked trailer towing capacity and 350kg down weight. Petrol and diesel version are all rated to 3500kg. Diesel tare weight with 10 litres of fuel in the flagship 5.0 (4921cc) V10 TDI 2532. 3.0V6 TDI is 2251kg.

Max torque (Nm) at 2000 rpm in the 5.0 V10 TDI is 750Nm.

In the 3.0 V6 TDI its 500Nm at between 1500 and 1800rpm.

In the 5 cylinder 2.5 R5 in-line turbo diesel it is 400Nm at 2250rpm.

Compared with its diesel stabelmates the 3.2 V6 FSI 6 cylinder petrol produces a gentle 360Nm at 2500.

As a service vehicle in the vehicle killer Dakar rally race, the production model Touareg has run thousands of kilometers across the Sahara, year after year, to support the rally.

The Touareg now has more than 2,300 newly developed parts. One innovation is the ABSplus system developed and patented by Volkswagen. The standard system can shorten the Touaregs braking distance on loose surfaces especially in off-road work by up to 20 percent.

The Touareg is shifted by a six-speed automatic gearbox. Power is transmitted to the 4XMOTION all wheel drive via a transfer case with switched extra low off road gearing. There the power is transmitted through front axle, rear axle and centre differentials.

The centre differential has a standard lock. In the normal case, under balanced power and roadway conditions, the power distribution is 50:50. But depending on the driving situation up to 100 percent of the propulsive power may be transmitted to just one of the two axles.

An Electronic Differential Lock (EDL) acting on all four wheels enables fine distribution of propulsive power.

Editor's Note: Also See - Also See -

VW Touareg shows real tow power
VW Touareg shows real tow power