Volkswagen Race Touareg 3: official details, photos and specs

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 26, 2010

The teasing is finally over with the official unveiling of the Race Touareg 3, Volkswagen's new Dakar challenger. The new Race Touareg 3, which evolves from the Race Touareg 2 (the winner of the 2009 and 2010 Dakar Rally events), offers an awesome look and performance. The Race Touareg 2 had actually been the first diesel-powered vehicle ever to win the event.

VW made a few modifications to the carbon fiber and Kevlar bodywork and minimized the disruption to the airflow at high speeds. Several tweaks to the exterior were also made, including new LED lights, a new grille, window line, rear clamshell and wheels.

The Race Touareg 3 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 2.5-litre TDI engine that has been optimized for improved economy while still being able to deliver 300 PS and 442 lbs ft of torque (600 Nm).

The unit is mated to an upgraded five-speed sequential gearbox and a ZF-Sachs three-plate ceramic clutch. The Race Touareg 3 can sprint from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.1 seconds and can hit a top speed of 117 mph (188 km/h).

This vehicle is based on a high-strength steel spaceframe chassis with a pair of springs and damper units installed on every corner to protect the vehicle against severe impacts. The model also boasts a set of specially developed BF Goodrich 235/85 R16 tires.

Volkswagen Motorsport took on a different step in racing with the introduction of the Race Touareg 3. Kris Nissen, Volkswagen’s Motorsport Director, said that the Race Touareg 3 will feature updated aerodynamics and a new design language that should optimize the capabilities of the racing vehicle.

Built to compete at the Dakar Rally, the Touareg Race 3, Nissen said, will build on the performance and reliability that its predecessors have built a reputation on. In addition to being fully optimized for performance, the Motorsport Director said that the Race Touareg 3 will be “spectacular.”

The Race Touareg 3 carried over many of the engineering concepts that have been solidified with the Race Touareg 2, its immediate predecessor that first came out in 2009. However, Volkswagen Motorsport and the team behind the Race Touareg developments formulated updates in the areas of suspension and engine power.

In addition, much of the development process concentrated on the new exteriors of the Race Touareg 3. Testing phase for the Race Touareg 3 took place in Morocco, in late July 2010.

This is the most rigorous part of the testing and development, and had the Race Touareg 3 prototype going through simulations involving various distances corresponding to the races it will participate in.

Its first official race was the Silk Way Rally, a 7-day event that involved a race course that began at St. Petersburg and ended in Sochi, in Russia. However, the Silk Way Rally was only a preparation for the Dakar Rally, for which the Touareg 3 was built.

Press Release

Volkswagen develops Race Touareg 3 for the 2011 Dakar Rally

New design, proven technology: Volkswagen is developing an evolution model of the Race Touareg that has been victorious twice in a row for the 2011 Dakar Rally in South America. In January 2011 the Wolfsburg-based car manufacturer will field four Race Tourareg 3 vehicles with fundamentally updated aerodynamics at the desert classic through Argentina and Chile. The cross-country rally vehicle follows the latest production model change and picks up concrete characteristics of the avant-garde shape of the Touareg II. As a result, the new Race Touareg incorporates its outstanding vehicle dynamics qualities in an even more athletic outer skin than before, with proven and extremely successful technology underneath: the TDI engine with an approximate power output of 300 hp as well as the suspension and chassis basically remain untouched.

"The evolution of the vehicle into the Race Touareg 3 represents the next logical step we're taking towards our big aim of achieving the hat-trick at the Dakar Rally," says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "With new aerodynamics this Race Touareg will look even more spectacular than before, while quoting aspects of the design language of the new production Touareg and, in addition, receiving further detailed optimizations. Its core is well proven because we continue to bank on the consistently optimised technology package that has been giving the Race Touareg first-rate performance and maximum reliability."

Evolution in steps: Race Touareg 3 with a new face

Newly designed and updated: the Race Touareg 3 is by no means a completely new development. It continues to be based on the basic engineering design of the Race Touareg 2 that was introduced in 2005. Since then the cross-country rally prototype with its innovative TDI engine has gone through an evolution in the area of the powertrain and suspension across several steps. In the step towards the Race Touareg 3 the main focus is on the new outer skin.

Tests with the Volkswagen Race Touareg 3 in the deserts of Morocco at the end of July will literally ring in the hot phase of the development programme. The extensive tests including the simulation of several rally distances will be followed by the official unveiling of the vehicle in August. In autumn the Race Touareg 3 will have its baptism of fire in competition with others: the Silk Way Rally through Russia which starts in St. Petersburg and ends in Sochi (11–18 September 2010) is regarded as a serious dress rehearsal for the legendary Dakar Rally (01–16 January 2011).

Topics: vw, vw touareg, rally car

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