|SA-Dakar 2011: Volkswagen shows new Race Touareg 3 for SA-Dakar 2011.|
A world debut alongside chariots and gladiators: Volkswagen presented the Race Touareg 3 to the public in a spectacular show. In the nearly 2000-year-old amphitheatre in Trier/Germany the Pairings Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz, Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk, Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz and Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford unveiled the 310-hp four-wheel-drive vehicle in front of a crowd of some 1,000 enthusiastic spectators.
To achieve the big aim of clinching the SA-Dakar hat-trick, Volkswagen banks on the logical and consistent evolution of the Race Touareg 2 into the model version 3. The specifications issued to the engineers for this project contained three major headlines: improvement of the cooling system, optimized gearbox tuning and more power for driving at high altitudes. In addition, the engineers’ agenda included detailed work to increase the performance capabilities of the two-time Dakar Rally winning Race Touareg 2 even further. The results achieved now reveal a prototype with completely renewed aerodynamics that builds on a proven chassis of its predecessor.
The Race Touareg 3 makes a big aerodynamic step forwards - the biggest one since the model change from the original Race-Touareg to model version two. The main focus during the development of the 310-hp cross-country rally prototype was put on optimising aerodynamics. In addition, the designers adapted the distinctive look of the Touareg II production "sibling" for the SA-Dakar version: like the road-going model, the Race Touareg displays its dynamic character traits in its exterior form as well.
The Race Touareg 3’s most obvious change compared with the predecessor model is found in the roof area where the air flow towards the radiator, the damper cooling and the diesel fuel cooling systems has been radically changed. The objective was to improve the chimney effect to remove the heat which accumulates under the carbon fibre-reinforced cladding while optimising air supply in the process.
For the intercooling system the team of Volkswagen Motorsport engineers drew on proven components from the production side of the house. The cooling element of the intercooler – a supplier component in any motorsport discipline – was designed and produced for the Race Touareg 3 by the prototyping department of the Volkswagen brand. Thanks to the experience gained with production vehicles the entire intercooling distance suffers less pressure losses – a gain in efficiency which is directly reflected in improved power output. Due to this and other detailed work the 2.5-litre TDI diesel engine version for the 2011 Dakar Rally now delivers 229 kW (310 hp) – seven kW (ten hp) more than the unit used in the Race Touareg 2.
A revolution of the exterior form, an evolution under the bonnet – initial tests suggest how well this philosophy is working out for the detailed further development of the Race Touareg 2 into the model version 3. In three-week tests held in Spain and Morocco the new car was tested in a direct comparison with the old model. During the tests around Mahmid with temperatures of up to 48 degrees Celsius and endurance tests around Erfoud the Race Touareg 3 covered some 10,000 kilometres of simulated special stages without any significant technical problems – this equates to the double SA-Dakar distance and exceeds the total number of kilometres driven in the races of an entire Formula 1 season.
2010/08/25 | 14:50 CET | Editor: MR/HS/MOSER