Volkswagen can now lay claim to another world record thanks to the efforts of off-road driver Rainer Zietlow and his team of adventurers. The crew packed into a Volkswagen Touareg TDI and covered the entire span of the Pan-American Highway from start to finish in 11 days, 17 hours and 22 minutes. The trip covered 14 countries and 16,000 miles of near non-stop driving. TÜV NORD Mobility verified the time, which beat out the previous record holder by a full three days.
Renowned adventurer Rainer Zietlow will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the legendary Pan-American Highway by embarking on a two-week drive from Argentina to Alaska on the world's longest road. Crossing through portions of 14 countries and covering a distance of nearly 16,000 miles, Reiner, along with two co-pilots (Carlos Fernandez and Marius Biela), will put a modified 2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI to the test.
In January 2009, Volkswagen took its first shot at the grueling Dakar Rally with some diesel-powered race Touaregs and finished first and second. This year, the automaker went back and took the first three positions at the finish. With an all-new Touareg on deck – we know, we know, the race vehicle doesn't share much with the production version – Volkswagen has decided to go back and try for the hat-trick. VW hasn't given any details, but we expect the 2011 race vehicle to be derived
Over the past couple of years, Volkswagen has been introducing low CO2-emitting variants of several of its mainstream car models under the BlueMotion banner. The latest addition to that lineup is the big Touareg SUV which is getting some tweaks to reduce its fuel consumption. Like its smaller siblings, the Touareg gets low rolling resistance tires and revised final drive ratio to lower engine revs. Aerodynamic drag is reduced by dropping the body one inch closer to the ground than regular models