The new Touareg V6 TDI in a severe test
The Dakar Rally 2007 begins in 18 days. Five Race-Touareg 2s are involved as favourites and several new Touareg V6 TDIs as service vehicles. This will be a last trial before the second generation of the globally successful off-roader is delivered to the first customer at the beginning of 2007. The opinion of off-road experts: cars that can survive such a 9,000 kilometre desert adventure as the Dakar Rally can withstand anything.
Without the service Touareg, it would be impossible to compete in a rally of the Dakar calibre. Very similar to the standard model, the Touareg V6 TDIs will ensure that the crew, tools, spare parts, tents and provisions are always close behind the race Touareg 2s during their fierce drive through the desert. The competing cars will also be supported by three race trucks, seven service trucks and three Volkswagen T5 Transporters.
The service vehicles are technically little different from the standard Touareg of the second generation, which recently went on order, as the base model already provides the ideal basis for the trip through the Sahara. In both cases, a 165 kW / 225 bhp six-cylinder TDI with diesel particle filter ensures a powerful drive. At as little as 1,750 revolutions, a power band in which other engines are just waking up, the V6 TDI develops its maximum torque of 500 Nm. If needed, the Touareg can also carry up to 3,500 kilograms of equipment. Both in the Dakar and the standard versions, the 4XMOTION four-wheel transmission ensures maximum traction.
Of course, there are differences in the equipping in comparison with the standard model. Special "Dakar extras" are indispensable for the service Touareg V6 TDI, which is to pass from Portugal through Spain, Morocco, Mauretania and Mali to Senegal: long-range tanks, all-terrain tyres, sand deflectors, roll bars, bucket seats with six-point belts, a special navigation system programmable for off-road purposes, satellite telephone and a location system for emergencies are included.
The second generation of the Touareg will be launched oncurrently with the "Dakar" with the first customers. Technically and visually modified in numerous ways, the premium class off-roader with the 174 bhp/128 kW five-cylinder TDI is available at prices from 41,450 Euros (42,521.88 Euros*). The Touareg V6 TDI, the standard model of the service Touareg, costs 44,950 Euros (46,112.50 Euros*) with six-speed manual gearbox and 47,125 Euros (48,343.75 Euros*) with six-speed automatic gearbox. Volkswagen also offers the Touareg as a V10 TDI (313 bhp/230 kW), as a V6 FSI (280 bhp/206 kW) and, for the first time, as a V8 FSI (350 bhp/257 kW). All TDI variants are equipped as standard with a maintenance-free, diesel particle filter.