Volkswagen Race Touareg 3 Qatar
Volkswagen Race Touareg 3 Qatar (above) and Touareg Gold Edition (below right)
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.

Volkswagen Touareg Gold EditionThe 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.


Related GalleryVolkswagen Race Touareg 3 Qatar

Related GalleryVolkswagen Touareg Gold Edition

[Source: Volkswagen]


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Key aspects: Volkswagen presents world exclusive Touareg in Qatar
  • Race Touareg 3 Qatar: street legal version of the Dakar Rally race car
  • Touareg Gold Edition: 24-carat gold makes this SUV one-of-a-kind
Wolfsburg / Doha, 26 January 2011 - At the first Qatar Motor Show (26 - 29 January), Volkswagen is presenting two exclusive SUV concept cars for the first time. The common denominator of these all-wheel drive vehicles: No compromises! Show car number 1 is a slightly tamer version of the Touareg 3 that started in the Dakar Rally at the beginning of January; this 228 kW / 310 PS Volkswagen could very well be the world's most talented street-legal SUV. Show car number 2 is the Touareg Gold Edition - many of its parts have been upgraded with 24-carat gold; this 265 kW Volkswagen (360 PS) is debuting as one of the highest quality SUVs ever. The cost of these concept cars? Priceless. Yet...

Race Touareg 3 Qatar

This is a genuine Rally motorsport vehicle, like the one that was still touring South America in the Dakar Rally two weeks ago and was built to withstand the toughest rally race in the world. The vehicle now being shown in Qatar is a version of the Race Touareg 3 – an SUV that can sprint to 100 km/h in less than six seconds – that is legally approved for use on public roadways. The just over two metre wide body was slightly modified for road use. Instead of 16-inch wheels, new 18-inch wheels from BBS with a gold look are being used. The "Race Touareg" signature – also in a golden colour - stretches the entire length of the vehicle's sides. In turn, it is perfectly coordinated with the exterior paint in "Magic Morning," a white that has a slight gold shimmer to it.

The interior was completely redesigned; all that remained unmodified was the safety cage. Without compromises also means an interior that offers easy controls and is ergonomic. The interior has an extremely well-organised appearance with focus on the driving machine, and it is equipped with Recaro racing bucket seats. Designers created an interior in so-called "Stealth look" that is reminiscent of the aircraft of the same name. In tribute to the Dakar Rally, the Dakar victories are etched in the anodised aluminium of the centre console, right next to the "Race Touareg" signature.

Other trim elements are treated in Matt Carbon. Tuned to this is the roll cage in "Serpentino Grey Metallic." Interior designers have upholstered the seat side supports and the door trim panels with Nubuk leather in "Black" and "Pure Grey," while the centre seat panels are made from perforated Nappa leather in "Titan Black." Additional accents include the two-tone seams and silver piping on the seat covers and safety-related items painted in "Tornado Red." The only other ingredient that is needed is some time to explore the world on a "360 degree route" in this uncompromising car.

Touareg Gold Edition

The Touareg Gold Edition would certainly be able to handle a journey around the world – but bear in mind, this car should only be parked where there is good surveillance. That is because – living up its name - certain areas of this SUV are upgraded with 24-carat gold. On the outside, they include the custom designed 22-inch wheels, roof rails, protective guard strips and window frames, mirror caps and parts of the air intake frame, "Touareg V8" signature and boot sill trim. Like the Race Touareg 3 Qatar, this SUV is also painted in "Magic Morning" body colour.

Inside, 24-carat gold also adorns many of the car's accents and switches, making the entire car unique. The interior design itself has a pleasant, bright appearance in the "Luna" trim colour. The Alcantara roofliner shows this colour as does the Nappa leather of the seats, which is decorated with ornamental stitch detailing.

On the other hand, the dashboard is trimmed in a natural brown leather; contrasting seams in "Magnolia" colour perfect the colour scheme. Natural brown with leather inserts in "Luna" adorn the floor mats. Automotive craftsmanship at its finest is reflected in the Walnut Burr accents with genuine gold marquetry – also crafted into an ornamental pattern. This is in keeping with the general image of the Touareg, which – in the "normal" production version – is one of the most sophisticated SUVs in the world.