Volkswagen has claimed the crown for most powerful diesel SUV from a German manufacturer.

The new Touareg V8 TDI pumps out a staggering 310kW of power and 900Nm of torque, and can blast from 0 to 100km/h in a time of just 4.9 seconds.

The new flagship model, which will be unveiled at at the Geneva Motor Show next month, is due to go on sale at the end of May — at least in Euro markets.

They’re impressive figures, but what about the V10 Touareg and or that matter the V12 Audi Q7, I hear you say (both of which I’ve been fortunate enough to drive)?

Produced from 2002 until 2010, the 5.0-litre V10 diesel delivered an astonishing 257kW and 850Nm, with a 0-100km/h time of 7.4 secs.

There was also a sportier R50 version that produced the same 257kW of power, but 850Nm of torque, and was capable of  dispatching the dash in 6.7 seconds.

The 6.0-litre, 12-cylinder Q7 however was rated at 368kW and — wait for it — 1000Nm of stump pulling torque and could put away the dash in just 5.5 seconds.

Neither car is still produced due to emissions targets, but the new new V8 is quicker and for those interested — Euro 6 compliant..

Remember when Fifth Gear stunt when it hooked up the V10 up to a 155-tonne Boeing 747?

Now that was something, but the thing is they reckon it could have towed another 50 tonnes — but to give the wagon enough traction the back was loaded with 4.5 tonnes of ballast.

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Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.