Volkswagen Group Malaysia (VGM) officially launched the Volkswagen Touareg TDI in Petaling Jaya this morning. The TDI-engined SUV is the first ever diesel offering by VGM, and opens the possibility of more oil burners coming our way. The TDI joins the petrol V6 FSI and Hybrid variants of the Touareg in Malaysia, the latter making a quiet debut last month.

The Touareg TDI is powered by a 3.0 litre turbocharged direct-injection commonrail V6 diesel with 245 PS and 550 Nm of torque, the latter made from 1,750 to 2,750 rpm. Like the rest of the range, it is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and has 4Motion permanent all-wheel-drive.

With 550 Nm of twist, performance is bound to be strong. 0-100 km/h is done in 7.6 seconds on its way to a 220 km/h top speed. More impressive still is that the 2,153 kg Touareg TDI manages to also have claimed combined fuel consumption of 7.2 litres per 100 km (13.9 km/l). This translates to a possible range of 1,170 km on a full tank of diesel. Towing capacity is 3,493 kg.

The handsome second-gen Touareg is a practical vehicle as well. Boot space is 580 litres (space saver under the boot floor), expandable to 1,642 litres with the rear seats folded. We’ve driven the Touareg in V6 FSI form and liked it a lot – click here for the review and full gallery.

At the launch, VGM’s MD Ricky Tay declared that the Touareg has been tuned to run on Malaysia’s Euro 2M diesel without any issues, and as a sign of confidence, the TDI gets the same Volkswagen five-year unlimited mileage warranty plus a roadside assistance programme for the same period.

The usual 15,000 km interval service applies, but for better peace of mind, special checks will be made every 7,500 km to ensure everything is in tip top condition. VW is not alone in the diesel game here, despite the major obstacle of low quality fuel. Besides BMW, the biggest diesel backer in Malaysia, Peugeot recently introduced its HDi oil burner in the 508 GT.

Unlike some other luxury SUVs, the Touareg is a serious off-roader as well, and to underline that fact, VGM brought in Challenge4 adventurer and serial record breaker Rainer Zietlow for the launch.

The affable German shared captivating tales of his adventures to the media, including his recent 23,000 km Melbourne to St Petersburg journey. We’ve written about that before – click here to read more on that adventure, which was done in a stock standard Touareg TDI.

Available in four colours – Graciosa Brown, Cool Silver, Deep Black, Pure White – the latest luxury SUV in town is priced at RM488,888 or RM491,735.50 on-the-road excluding insurance. That sticker puts it in between the RM428,888 petrol and RM616,888 Hybrid.

Full gallery from the launch, spec sheet and price list are all after the jump.

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