Eight-cylinder engines are becoming a rarity these days especially in the SUV segment. Sure, there are still a number of more expensive and performance-oriented models fitted with V8s available, but we expect these engines to begin disappearing in the next couple of years. However, there’s not a single V10 SUV on sale on the new cars market today, let alone a V12. Some 15 years ago, things were different.

This Volkswagen Touareg obviously doesn’t look like a standard first-gen Touareg. It was built in 2005 and is one of the early units powered by a W12 engine. Initially, Volkswagen had plans to release the Touareg W12 as a limited-edition model with just 500 examples to roll off the assembly lines. Eventually, however, it became an ordinary model without any production restrictions. 

Gallery: VW Touareg W12 for sale

Even though the production was well above the 500 units mark, it was still a rare vehicle. Today, it’s even rarer as fewer and fewer examples are surviving the test of time, and one of these is currently up for sale. This one was sold new in Japan and currently has approximately 57,800 miles (93,000 kilometres) on the odometer. It doesn’t look as good as new, though there are many things to like about it.

First and foremost, obviously, there’s a monster 6.0-litre 12-cylinder unit under the bonnet. This engine generates 450 bhp (331 kilowatts), giving the heavy and large SUV a 0-62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometres per hour) sprint time of about 5.8 seconds. With 443 pound-feet (600 Newton-metres) of torque, it doesn’t lack twist, too.

This rare Touareg has about 135 bhp (99 kW) more than the Touareg V10 TDI, which we’ve seen in action on the Autobahn. The seller of this particular example says it will go under the hammer later this week during an auction in Japan with a price in the $24,000 (approx. £17,600) range. According to the ad, the SUV can be shipped to any worldwide port, and if you are actually interested, check out the source link below for more details.