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.