Vw Touareg V6 TDI sets a new course record in the renowned Carretera Panamericana race

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 14, 2011

A Volkswagen Touareg 3.0-litre V6 TDI got through the Carretera Panamericana race in only 11 days, 17 hours and 22 minutes, giving Rainer Zietlow and his team a new course record. To complete the race, the vehicle was driven through the entire length of North and South America, a total of 22,750 kilometres on the course between Tierra del Fuego and Alaska. The model that set the record is being displayed in Wolfsburg as part of the post-race tour.

Zietlow and his team got across 17 countries, which meant that it passed through majority of the climate and vegetation zones on earth. The TÜV Nord testing organization had certified this record-breaking drive.

This proves just how efficient and enduring the Volkswagen Touareg is even when it is driven through the most difficult course conditions such as extreme heat, heavy rain, sandstorms or snow.

Making this achievement even more impressive is that it beat the previous record set in 2006 by four days. The eco-friendly 3.0-litre V6 TDI Clean Diesel engine (165 kW/225 PS in the US version) that is used in the Touareg uses up 30% lower fuel and has CO2 emissions of 25% lower than other vehicles in this class that are powered by petrol engines.

First presented during the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, the newly redeveloped Touareg from Volkswagen may be the most technically advanced model in the brand’s history. As the more compact Tiguan had already managed to become a worldwide success, Volkswagen wanted to have the same sustainability for the new version of the Touareg.

The first step was to reduce the weight by as much as 208 kilograms and the company managed to do it, which in itself is an excellent feat. Even with the lower weight, the torsional rigidity of the body was better by 5%. The second objective was to enhance its aerodynamics in order to have better Cd value, which the company achieved as well.

Aside from these two goals, the company also wanted to make sure that when compared to the prior model, the new version would be closer to ground. Combined with a front end that has the styled inspired by the company’s new design DNA, the front area is now smaller. Finally, the new Touareg was expected to have something never before done in its segment which was to utilize an automatic 8-speed transmission.

Because of this, fuel economy is better compared to the previous model by at least 2 liters for every 100 kilometers. Indeed, the new Touareg is a modern reinterpretation of the company’s multi-purpose SUV. Most of these are due to the inclusion of a number of new safety systems and assistance systems plus a selection of engines that are all more fuel efficient by 20%.

In addition to being the first, and likely sole, off-road in Europe to be made by a German automaker, the Touareg will have a hybrid variant as well. Running solely on pure electricity, the Touareg Hybrid can go emission free for as far as 50 km/h. It can also set new benchmarks when it comes to off-road capabilities, especially on SUVs that are fitted with fitted petrol engines and that come with fuel consumption of 8.2 liter/100 kilometers.

In terms of diesel engine, the Touareg equipped with the 7.-liter TDI V6 engine comes with combined fuel consumption that looks to be the best in its segment. Whether it is the Touareg V6 TDI or the Touareg Hybrid, they are respectively considered as the most fuel efficient diesel and petrol engine in an SUV made in Europe for the large vehicle segment.

Topics: vw, vw touareg, tdi, record, suv

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