April 25, 2004


To celebrate Earth Day, this week I picked up a Volkswagen Touareg. Five litres. Ten diesel-fired cylinders. Two turbochargers. Seven hundred and fifty Newton metres of torque.

What does it mean, this “torque” word? It’s a technical term for pulling or towing power; as a point of comparison, the 3.8 litre V6 used in popular General Motors vehicles here and in the US generates less than half that amount. In practical terms, 750Nm means that if you’ve always believed Tasmania should be hauled closer to the mainland, now you can do something about it.

Yesterday, using steel towing cables, I re-routed some train lines and extended the front of the house all the way to the street. Torque is fun! Full review shortly. Also to come: storming Lakemba in a Chrysler Crossfire -- an exclusive, web-only report.

Posted by Tim Blair at April 25, 2004 02:30 AM

Wow, very nice. Congrats Tim. My girlfriend and I were looking at them as well but we decided to go sporty with an Infiniti G35 Coupe.

Touareg is a very nice choice, good luck with it!

So... is this YOUR SUV or does it belong to your "family"?


Posted by: Dash at April 25, 2004 at 04:05 AM

It's a test car, Dash -- to afford a Toerag of my own, I'd have to marry a ketchup heiress.

Posted by: tim at April 25, 2004 at 04:26 AM

I wasn't gonna say anything, but yeah they are quite expensive. Which is why I don't own one either heh.

Chin up, I hear the Hellmann’s Mayonnaise family has a eccentric widower who's looking.

Posted by: Dash at April 25, 2004 at 04:54 AM

I had heard that the 2nd row seats were uncomfortably small for anyone bigger then Umpa Lumpa size. True?

Posted by: JohnO at April 25, 2004 at 05:33 AM

Torque = r×F = d/dt(r×p) = I dω/dt = moment of inertia times rate of change of angular velocity.

Torque gives you acceleration, power gives you speed.

Posted by: David Gillies at April 25, 2004 at 06:30 AM


For those of us who are metrically impaired, the following link may be very helpful...


Posted by: Spart at April 25, 2004 at 07:58 AM

Shit! Not cars again.

Posted by: david at April 25, 2004 at 09:35 AM

...and Tim gets *paid* to drive these things. Some people have all the luck...

Posted by: rosignol at April 25, 2004 at 09:50 AM


Ok, it can move Tasmania, but can it pull Michael Moore away from a buffet?


Posted by: Jerry at April 25, 2004 at 09:51 AM

From memory I think the word 'Touareg' is derived from the name of an ARAB tribe from North Africa.
Fits really when you think about it; the harsh terrain, blistering sun, roaring up those dunes & across those waddies.
I bet Rommel ran over a few 'Touaregs' on his scramble to El Alamein & back again.
The irony is delicious isn't it. One of our champions of the right celebrating ANZAC day by "picking up" a wankermobile named after an obscure Arab tribe manufactured by a company which started operations in Germany during Hitlers fascist regime on the basis of producing affordable basic vehicles for the common folk.
I bet you can't wait to take it Bush.

Posted by: Abdul at April 25, 2004 at 10:08 AM

Jerry, no, for that you probably need an uprated M88 Armored Recovery Vehicle... but you probably need a Combat Engineer Vehicle first to break his grip on the table with its demolition gun's HEP rounds (they're only 165mm so it could take a couple...)

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at April 25, 2004 at 12:25 PM

Take it Bush, Abdul? Howard I do that?

Posted by: tim at April 25, 2004 at 01:56 PM

Why, it's obvious, Tim!

Just unhitch Tasmania, hook up to California, and push down on that long skinny pedal on the right.

If you'd drag Canada to the other side of the Atlantic while you're at it it'd be much appreciated, and Australia is welcome to take up residence in it's place.


Posted by: rosignol at April 25, 2004 at 03:26 PM

Tim's macho rhapsodies about his phast car-driving are starting to sound ominously like Philip Adams and his bucolic phantasies about his pharm.
Enough, please!

Posted by: david at April 25, 2004 at 08:10 PM

David, you drive one of those new Minis, don't you? They're so cute.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at April 26, 2004 at 03:11 AM

Swap Australia for Canada? Only if we can bring the warm climate with us.

Plus: the US will be invaded by kangaroos.

Posted by: ilibcc at April 26, 2004 at 04:10 PM

And Australia will be invaded by deserters and unhappy movie stars. I think we win that exchange, but I feel awful guilty about it.

Posted by: Sortelli at April 26, 2004 at 05:06 PM