Our camera-happy spy photographers were quick enough to grab a batch of shots of one very distinctive Volkswagen Touareg as it underwent mountain testing. From what we can tell, it's the next iteration of the German manufacturer's successful Race Touareg 2 – the same diesel rally raid beast that has gone toe-to-toe with other competitors in the Paris-Dakar. From what we can tell, the next-gen racer will look nearly identical to the car that competed in the 2009 series, with a few subtle changes.
The prototype our photographers spotted sports a snorkel for high-water crossings and a new brush guard – presumably for pushing obstacles from the Touareg's path and protecting its lightweight bodywork. Who knows what's under the hood, but considering the success the company has had with hits twin-turbo diesel I5, we wouldn't expect too much to change in terms of power delivery unless rule changes warrant it. VW has managed to increase the engine's power output by about 10-15 ponies each year, though, so it wouldn't surprise us to see the oil-burner top 300 horsepower for the first time.