Volkswagen Touareg Pulls Boeing

Volkswagen is touting the pulling power of the Touareg V10 TDi with a stunt in which a Touareg tows a Boeing 747 Jumbo jet weighing 155 tons. The experiment apparently began in 2006 as a wager between Volkswagen employees. Volkswagen, after some trials in Germany, invited members of the press to witness the stunt at Dunsfold aerodrome, 40miles south west of London, where they had leased an ex-British Airways 1978 Boeing 747-200. The original engines had been replaced by dummy engines for the purposes of safety during filming for Casino Royale. Fuel was replaced by 28-tonnes of water ballast. The plane still had its full complement of 500 seats, 11 toilets and complete landing gear, but did not have an operating braking system.

VW Touareg tows Jumbo 747

What’s shown here is the German advertisement shown in 2007. The text at the end, “Wetten sie niemals mit einem Touareg Fahrer. Gebaut fur die Extreme Der Touareg. Mehr Touareg denn je”, is translated, “Never bet with a Toureg driver. Built for the Extreme – The Touareg. More than ever Touareg.”

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube

The Touareg V10 TDi has a 5.0-litre turbodiesel engine, capable of 300bhp at just 3,750rpm and 553 lb/ft of torque at a lowly 2,000rpm. It weighs in at 2,685kg (more than 7 tonnes) yet can haul itself from a standstill to 60mph in a GTI-humiliating 7.8 seconds and defy the laws of physics to drag its bulky frame through the air all the way to 140mph. This particular vehicle was fitted with a special towing adaptor and 4.3 tonnes of metal ballast to increase stability.

The Volkswagen technician in charge of the driving, Uwe Krieghoff, said: “I was a bit disappointed we couldn’t find anything heavier to tow.” He carried out the exercise selecting “drive” and the low ratio, second gear setting. See more on his experience.

See my post on the print advertisement which includes a caravan behind the Boeing.


The VW Touareg Boeing ad was developed at DDB Amsterdam, Amstelveen, by creative director/art director Joris Kuijpers, creative director/copywriter Dylan de Backer, and account executive Milo van der Meij.

Music is Barcarolle, an aria from Jacques Offenbach’s opera Les Contes D’Hoffmann.

Download Barcarolle (orchestral version) from iTunes

VW Touareg tows Jumbo 747

Fifth Gear

The towing stunt was incorporated into the Channel Five motoring television show, Fifth Gear. Tom Ford talks us through his experience…

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube

  • inga

    A terribly brilliant add. Volkswagon Touareg pulls Boeing is something
    wonderful to see, however,so is the music accompaniment something
    to behold. Such beautiful composition deserves credit as much as the
    producers of this fine advertisement. I would very much like to be
    enlightened as to the master & title of this gorgeous music. Would this be at all possible…….please!!

  • David Dowling

    What model of Boeing 747 is being towed by the VW Was it at Dunsfold Park Airport.
    Seem to see the 747 on the ‘Top Gear’ TV show.

  • It’s the 747-200. At Dunsfold Airport. All the details are in the post above.

  • mark

    The Aircraft in this commercial can’t be a 747-200??

    The engine configuration for a 747-200 is 4 “spaced” engines (2 per wing).

    Yet in the commercial, it shows the engines in a “cluster” of 2 on each wing.

    please explain?

  • The plane had its engines removed for the Bond movie, and replaced with dummy engines as seen in the ad. So it’s a modified 747-200.

  • Tracey

    I’m in Sydney and the itunes link for the Barcarolle download is restricted to the US itunes store. Could you list the complete orchestral details so that I have a better chance of tracking it down this side of the world… I believe it’s Mantovani…
    thanks 😉