The VW Tourareg TDI Trophy truck that was unveiled at the LA Auto Show last week made its competition debut on Saturday in the Baja 1000. The 550-hp diesel-powered off-road racer finished the 1,000 km race in 13th place in its class after a seal failed in the gearbox. The Arciero-Miller team had to swap out the whole box mid-race, dropping the truck well down in the standings. The Touareg is powered by a modified version of the same 5.5-liter V12 diesel used so successfully in the Audi R10 TDI for the last three years. It's the first clean diesel ever to run in the Baja 1000.


VOLKSWAGEN-RED BULL TOUAREG TDI TROPHY TRUCK CLAIMS 13th POSITION FOR TROPHY TRUCK CLASS IN ITS INAUGURAL BAJA 1000
ENSENADA, Mexico-After more than 1,000 kilometers (634 miles) through some of the toughest terrain imaginable, Volkswagen's newly developed Baja Race Touareg TDI prototype successfully crossed the finish line in Ensenda, Mexico driven by veteran drivers Mark Miller and Ryan Arciero.
For the first time in the 41-year history of the Baja 1000, a vehicle with innovative clean diesel technology successfully competed in the demanding and fiercely competitive high performance trophy truck class in the Baja 1000.
"Our aim for our first Baja 1000 was to finish the event with our all-new Touareg TDI – and we managed to do that. That's why we're really satisfied," said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "It was the toughest Baja I've ever driven, the track simply was mercilessly rough," commented Mark Miller, a multiple Baja winner, after arriving at the finish early Saturday morning (November 22, 2008). "At our very first running we immediately showed that the Touareg and the clean TDI technology are a powerful package."
The Baja Race Touareg TDI experienced a defective seal on the gearbox during the race that led to the necessary replacement of the entire gearbox causing a major time loss for the team. "Ultimately, a simple seal had an enormous effect with a big loss of time. This defect surprised us because it had never occurred before," said Don Tebbe, Project Manager for the Arciero Miller Racing (AMR) team which, in close collaboration with Volkswagen Motorsport, is responsible for the development and fielding of the Baja Touareg. "Shortly before the finish we also exchanged the rear differential just to be on the safe side. From tests we knew that this part might possibly be at the limit. Work on an improved version is already in progress," Tebbe added.
The Race Touareg TDI Trophy Truck that ran the 41st Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race in the SCORE Trophy Truck class was powered by a 5.5 liter V-12 clean diesel engine that produces 550 horsepower and 625 lbs.-ft. of torque.
Staying true to the off-road prowess that the Touareg is best known for, the purpose-built Race Touareg TDI Trophy Truck takes the Touareg's off-road tenaciousness to a whole new level. With a double A-Arm front suspension that allows 25 inches of wheel travel, and a 4-link rear suspension that allows 30 inches of wheel travel, combined with Fox Racing Shocks, Eibach Coils and BFGoodrich Baja KRT 37x13.5x17 off-road tires the Race Touareg TDI Trophy Truck had little difficulty maneuvering the highly difficult and technical 634 mile Baja 1000 course.
Chassis design and production was handled by Arciero Miller Racing located in Foothill Ranch, California. The Race Touareg TDI Trophy Truck features a wheelbase of 125 inches, overall length of 213 inches, width of 92 inches, an overall height of 78 inches and weighs 5650 pounds. The Race Touareg TDI Trophy Truck Body was designed by the Volkswagen Design Center located in Santa Monica, California.
The Volkswagen-Red Bull Baja Race Touareg TDI was sponsored by Volkswagen of America, Inc., Red Bull, BFGoodrich Tires, Dow Automotive, Oakley, KMC Wheels and Fox Shocks.