Model shows it has real pulling power

A Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI has proved its strength by towing a 155-tonne Boeing 747-200, on the auxiliary runway at Dunsfold Aerodrome, 40 miles south west of London.

Engineers, VW personnel and bemused passers-by watched as the V10 made seven runs.

The vehicle — a standard production model fitted with a special towing adaptor to connect it with the aircraft-towing link — was loaded with 4.3 tonnes of metal ballast to bring its weight to over seven tonnes including the driver.

One precaution that turned out to be unnecessary was the fitting of the 4.56 axle ratio from the Touareg V8 in place of the 3.27 gearing of the V10. The final modification was to change the outer body panels so that the car was visually the same as the next-generation Touareg, due for launch next year.

Plane sailing: the Touareg V10 towed the Boeing 747-200 on seven runs