The Shanghai Auto Show is now underway, which means all sorts of weird and wonderful Chinese market exclusives are emerging. Skoda, for instance, is showcasing the long-wheelbase Octavia Pro we looked at a few weeks ago, while at the stand of sister brand Volkswagen, there’s the Talagon.
Part of what VW dubs an “SUV offensive in China,” the Talagon is the biggest car to ever be based on VW Group’s widely used ‘MQB’ platform. It’s over 5.1 metres long, two metres wide and 1.8 metres tall. Most interesting of all is what you can have under the bonnet.
You can - surprise surprise - have one of two EA888 inline-four turbo engines, one producing 183bhp and the other 217. They’re badged as ‘330 TSI’ and ‘380 TSI’. Alternatively, you can have the ‘530 V6’, and yes, that involves a VR6.
Considered deceased in most parts of the world, the legendary narrow-angle ‘V6’ has been ticking along nicely in China for a little while now. The Talagon’s little brother, the Terramont (a Chinese market version of the Atlas), already uses the same 2.5-litre turbo version of the engine.
The ‘E390 DPKA’ engine features a single Mitsubishi Heavy Industries turbocharger, making for a healthy 295bhp and 369lb ft of torque. Like the inline-fours available in the Talagon, it’s only available with a seven-speed ‘DSG’ dual-clutch transmission.
A 3.0-litre version of this VR6 engine was at one point mooted for the Arteon R. VW even built a couple of circa-400bhp Arteon prototypes with the unit, but in the end, the production car was given an EA888. The reason? To keep the emissions figure down, and to make the car lighter and therefore more agile.
A shame, but many years in the future when you’ll be able to buy an Arteon R and an ex-Teramont turbo VR6 for peanuts, hopefully someone will be heroic enough to do an engine transplant.