Click either image for high-res image gallery
After three consecutive wins in the famously brutal Dakar Rally, Volkswagen is no stranger to cresting dunes and speeding across desert terrain. And now the German automaker has rolled in to Qatar with a pair of very special Touaregs.
Most enticing of the two is the Race Touareg 3 Qatar. Envisioned as a street-legal version of the rally raider that recently locked out the podium at Dakar, the Race Touareg 3 Qatar looks every bit the beast it's based on, with a few nods towards usability. It packs the same 300-horsepower 2.5-liter TDI, with the 16-inch wheels of the rally machine swapped out for gold-colored BBS wheels complimented by the "Race Touareg" wording in gold across the "Magic Morning" white flank.
Inside is where the real changes have been made, however, upgrading on the bare-bones race cabin with one designed after the cockpit on a stealth aircraft. The ergonomics and appearance of the interior have been thoroughly worked over, characterized by matte carbon-fiber trim and a Serpetino Grey Metallic role cage, with Recaro racing buckets and door panels trimmed in Nubuk and perforated Nappa leather in black, grey and red.
The Race Touareg 3 Qatar is joined on Volkswagen's show stand in Doha by the Touareg Gold Edition. As you might have guessed, the Gold Edition is decked out in 24-karat gold trim inside and out. The shiny stuff coats the 22-inch wheels, roof rails, window frames, door mirrors, grille surround and more. The interior is likewise distinguished by gold trim, "complimenting" (as it were) the Luna trim color, Alcantara roofliner, Nappa leather seats, natural brown leather and Walnut Burr veneers.
The gold-trimmed SUV is bound to be a hit with the Persian Gulf crowd, but halfway around the world we're hoping the Race Touareg 3 Qatar makes its way from the show floor to the showroom and onto our streets as a compelling import alternative to the Ford Raptor. Too much to wish for? Only time will tell, but you can follow the jump now for the full press release and scope out the two concept vehicles in the pair of high-resolution image galleries below.