Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Concept Car: Volkswagen Race Touareg 3

Most of the hubbub at the 2011 Qatar Motor Show surrounds Volkswagen’s small, fuel-sipping concept car, but the automaker also chose to debut two special-edition versions of its Touareg SUV at the same venue.

Of the two, perhaps the most adept at actually tackling the desert sands is the new Race Touareg 3 Qatar. As the name suggests, this is an evolution of Volkswagen’s diesel-powered race buggy (the same vehicle recently dominated the Dakar Rally), but is actually designed to be street legal — at least in Qatar. Lights have been revised as to comply with legal standards, while the interior is dressed up ever so mildly with leather door panel inserts, along with Recaro seats trimmed in Nappa leather.

Make no mistake: this is still a race-ready vehicle. If the retention of the roll cage (now painted Serpentino Grey metallic) and the race seating wasn’t enough of a tip-off, the powertrain itself should be. Like the actual race-spec Race Touareg 3s, the street-legal version makes use of a 2.5-liter, twin-turbocharged, 2.5-liter I-4, which churns out 305 horsepower. Partnered with both a five-speed sequential gearbox and an all-wheel-drive system, the Race Touareg 3 Qatar is still capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in less than six seconds and reaching a top-speed of 117 mph off-road.

Much as we like the notion of purchasing a street-legal rally weapon, we think more buyers will be interested in Volkswagen’s other introduction.

Thanks to: Motor Trend