When Volkswagen execs first began talk of producing an SUV for an already flooded market, they only had to get past a sea of mediocrity. The company instantly hit a home run with the Touareg, tossing out the standard and creating something altogether more exciting. Considerably less expensive than a comparably equipped Cayenne, the all-wheel drive Ute has been well received by the public and the automotive press alike. Tuners and aftermarket suppliers have also warmly embraced the vehicle, such as Anthony Gelinas of GreedSpeed.
"The Touareg created an untapped market for us. We recognized the vehicle's strong points and made them even better," he said. "Ultimately, we wanted to create something that would stand out from the rest."
The company's 2004 Touareg V6 hits the road running with an increase of 70 hp and a masculine facelift.
Since there were few performance components available originally, Gelinas worked directly with Neuspeed and VF Engineering to develop working prototypes. The Touareg was ultimately fitted with a cohesive performance package topped with a Stage 1 supercharger kit from VF Engineering. The kit uses GIAC software to push 6 psi of boost for reliable performance. A high-flow front-mounted intercooler was incorporated, as well as a Bosch bypass valve. The supercharger itself is tucked neatly away and leaves the engine bay clean and uncluttered. A beautifully designed dual Neuspeed exhaust goes out the back and terminates in 100mm angle-cut tips.
Dyno testing revealed an impressive 237.6 whp at 6000 rpm vs. the paltry 169.7 whp base rating. The new numbers are much more in line with the vehicle's considerable curb weight. Likewise with torque, which registered 209.3 lb-ft at 6000 rpm.
Laughing in the face of gross vehicle weight and its distribution, Neuspeed developed a suspension system ideally suited for hard cornering, with more neutral steering and high-speed straight-line stability. The package includes V6 Touareg-specific Neuspeed sport lowering springs, which drop the vehicle roughly 1.25 inches, and a Neuspeed 27mm solid rear anti-roll bar.
Rolling stock is comprised of massive PIAA X-1F Tanzo 10x22-inch forged wheels matched with Toyo Proxes S/T 285/35-22 tires. The factory brakes were deemed adequate and only required a set of Neuspeed stainless-steel brake lines for improved pedal response.
Aside from its newfound performance, this Touareg is set apart visually with bold exterior styling thanks to a complete Caractfre aero package from Landspeed USA. Featuring a European front bumper spoiler, front grille, wheel arch extensions, rear spoiler and rear hatch blend, it was meticulously color matched by Creekside Collision of Valencia, Calif.
Leather clad and luxury-appointed from the dealer, the Touareg is already well equipped for creature comfort. Still, Gelinas upgraded the audio system with the full range of Boston Acoustic Pro components, which interface with the OEM navigation LCD display.
In a land laden with SUVs, it's hard to stand out in the crowd. Considering this Touareg's formidable makeover, we doubt it will have a problem.
2004 Volkswagen Touareg V6
DrivetrainLongitudinal front engine, all-wheel drive
Engine3.2-liter V6, dual overhead cams, four valves per cylinderMods: VF Engineering Stage 1 supercharger kit, GIAC ECU software, front-mount intercooler, Bosch bypass valve, Neuspeed dual cat-back exhaust
SuspensionMods: Neuspeed Sport Lowering springs, Neuspeed rear 27mm anti-roll bar
BrakesMods: Neuspeed stainless-steel lines
Wheels and TiresPIAA X-1F Tanzo, 10x22Toyo Proxes S/T, 285/35-22
PerformancePeak Power: 237.6 whp Peak Torque: 209.3 lb-ft