If you need to film car videos, get yourself a Volkswagen Touareg
It is a supreme production car
Thankfully, the world has opened up to a point where we've been flat-out restarting productions for DriveTribe. Mini Bugattis, GT4 Ginettas, V10 engines; we've been cracking on with making videos to keep the DriveTribe YouTube channel fuelled up.
Something that has made this shift back to normality much easier has been snabbing a few days in Tim's longtermer, a VW Touareg R-Line. See it as a Bentley Bentayga but for people who need clips to strap themselves into the boot to film supercars rather than knurled crystal dials to fiddle with their massaging seat.
The first sign of a great production car – space
Camera equipment is usually massive – tripods, lenses, sound kit, gimbles, big 4K-filming beasts – we need all of that crap to fit into the boot. The Touareg swallows everything up with ease, despite a sloping roofline encroaching slightly on the rear boot section.
It doesn't quite have the gobbling power of something like the Skoda Superb estate, but even our biggest shoot from recent times (celebrating the V10 engine at Judd Powertrains) was easily dealt with by the 'Reg.
Even when we stopped off in Milton Keynes on the way to Judd to get some Liqui Moly supplies for the shoot, there wasn't even the slightest worry about fitting everything in, something that is always a challenge when anything except a chunky SUV or estate is involved.
It even took an entire sofa with ease. And no, that is not my RX-8.
Oh, and while I mention it, if you need any engine oil, fuel additives or other lubricants for your car, check out our friends at World Of Lubricant in Milton Keynes who are a chief stockist of Liqui Moly products, here's a link to their stuff:
That front end gets more looks than you'd expect
L A R G E
You wouldn't think the Touareg would be the most attention-grabbing SUV out there, but that huge chiselled chrome grin that makes up the car's front grille had numerous people stopping to take a look.
It's indicative of German car design these days, with the mantra 'go big or go home' seeming to be the current motivational phrase sitting above the doors at VW HQ.
A big car with a small engine isn't normally great
When you have a car weighing in at north of two tonnes, you should really get an engine that can shunt it along without having to thrash it within an inch of its life.
With a production car, you are stuck in a sticky situation; do you want a V8 that will effortlessly waft you up the motorway to your next location, as well as being able to keep up with any meaty performance cars you have on the shoot? Or do you opt for the smallest engine possible to keep the fuel bill down and stop the production budget being blown to shreds every time you step on the throttle too hard?
Obviously shying away from such a decision, Tim specced the Touareg with the middle-ground 3.0-litre V6 which would probably be just enough for the job if it weren't for an incredibly sluggish gearbox no matter what driving mode you're in.
And because the gearbox takes a while to wake up, you end up lunging the car down the road once it suddenly kicks into life, tearing through fuel and feeling like you're endlessly filling the damn thing up. The 4.0-litre twin-turbo diesel V8 does seem gratuitous, but I reckon your driving style would change with it and that fuel bill would be no worse than the V6.
The crew love it though
The DriveTribe camera men are officially sick of my Mondeo, seeing as the suspension is now collapsed, the back windows don't work and the sound system is bang average. Treating them to the Volkswagen then was a breath of fresh air.
It glides over potholes with ease, the air conditioning is incredibly powerful (we shot on the hottest day of the year) and the top-spec speaker system made Chvrches, Smash Mouth and My Chemical Romance sound at their best.
There may be an official DriveTribe production car coming soon (instead of us stealing Tim's every few weeks), so stay tuned for another kit swallower in the coming weeks...