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2008 Volkswagen Race Touareg

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#1 SRW_Ojan



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Posted 17 April 2013 - 09:07 PM







Top Speed: 117 MPH
0-60: 6.5 Seconds
Horsepower: 550 @ 4800 RPM
Torque: 625 @ 2200 RPM
Transmission: 6 Speed Sequential
Drivetrain: RWD

Developed by the Volkswagen Design Center in Santa Monica, California, and unveiled at the 2008 LA Auto Show, the Baja Race Touareg TDI Trophy Truck was created to contest the 41st Annual Baja 1000 desert race of 2009. Despite its name, this purpose-built racer bears only a passing resemblance to the manufacturer's road-going four-wheel-drive SUV, with its double A-Arm front suspension and four-link rear suspension (which allow a massive 25 and 30 inches of wheel travel respectively), Fox Racing Shocks, Eibach Coils, BFGoodrich Baja KRT off-road tires, and 125-inch wheelbase marking it out as an entirely different animal. Thanks to its 5.5-liter V12 clean-diesel engine, it also proved to be unique amongst the Baja 1000's competitors, becoming the first turbodiesel Trophy Truck to compete in the race. However despite its green credentials, the powerplant's 550 bhp still managed to propel the towering Touareg to a respectable 13th position in the 634-mile race.

Please share your reviews, videos, pictures, or critiques about the Touareg in the comment section. And be sure to check back regularly to read our very own Simraceway staff give you some insight into the creation of this high-performance machine. 


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#2 Clemsie McKenzie

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Posted 12 March 2015 - 06:56 PM

Test Drive Tuesday review: Volkswagen Race Touareg


The Volkswagen Race Touareg was created in 2009 to compete in the grueling Baja 1000, a 600 miles long Mexican off-road race. If the names of Volkswagen and Baja together ring a bell, it’s because you’re thinking about the Baja Bugs. Based on the VW Bug, these little things made the most of the grid of that race and were still gathering overall wins in the mid 1980s. But since this air-cooled era, VW never won the classic.

Realizing the marketing impact of the race in America, VW decided to make a come-back in 2009. And what a come-back that was. The Touareg was the first diesel-powered car to compete in the top class of the rally, and it did something outstanding: it actually finished the race.
Now, I’m usually no good at off-road racing. I can’t manage the lack of grip and the apparent chaos of the reactions induced by massive suspension travel.

All of that was before this TdT.

I believe it has all to do with the suspension. You see, the Touareg does have a lot of suspension travel. As a matter of fact, I believe it could go over pretty much anything – I even tried to go up the cliff at Tropical Island. But all that movement, all that unruly weight transfer is amazingly well mastered here. It feels much more refined than the buggy, and so much more controllable. It feels like you actually can drive the car where you want it to, like you want it to. To give you an example, on maybe 10 races at Tropical Island, I only fell once off the cliff. And for me, that’s something.
It has an impressive amount of grip, too. Granted, it’s not all that fast, but we’ll come to that in a minute. But it is, once again, predictable. Mid-corner I can relate to my racetrack experience on what I should do to exit the corner in the most efficient and fast way possible. Brake a bit here, flick the steering there, and hop, job done. And that’s incredibly fun. Feeling like you actually know what you’re doing, being in control of the car’s reactions, understanding what you have to do to improve your lap times, it’s all massively enjoyable. And I never quite got that feeling off-road before.

One of the key-feature of VW’s engagement in the Baja was the diesel engine. This one is a V12 that comes straight from the Audi LMP1 cars. It makes 550bhp, and most importantly, produces 625 lb.ft of torque. All of that very low in the rev-range. And despite being a diesel, it doesn’t sound all that bad, if you like the turbo-whistle kind of stuff. It seems the world is still to make a bad sounding V12.

You might at this point wonder why I said that this car is slow. It’s mostly because of the gearbox. It’s been set to tackle the most unpleasant roads there are, to master any obstacle that would show in its path, so the gears are very short and made to exploit every ounce of the massive torque. Yes it will still do 0 to 60mph in 6.5 seconds, which isn’t all that bad, but then it kinda stops accelerating. But the important thing is that it will do that anywhere. You can even have fun on asphalt, as I did when I attempted the obligatory hot lap of Watkins Glen. The straight is a long, long cruise though.

This car is just great. It’s great fun, and really easy to use, even for the off-road noob like me. And you’ve got to love this go-anywhere feeling. Even racing it just feels cool, you’ve got this impression that you’re just going on an epic adventure with friends. Even if you’re not the dust-eating kind of driver, give it a try in this. Trust me, you won’t regret it.


Here is the link to the Test Drive Tuesday Leaderboards: https://goo.gl/ATr6mF

SQ currently around: 875 - car collection: 55 (Gotta catch them all!) - ingame ID: RAFU_Alonso

The link to the Test Drive Tuesday cars leaderboards: https://goo.gl/ATr6mF

#3 Rolo Tomassi

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Posted 12 March 2015 - 09:38 PM


...produces 650 torques.

Torques? I think someone's been watching Top Gear too much :). You must mean 650lb.ft of torque, or is it 625 as stated at the top?

Which ever is right (and I am making an assumption that the quoted torque unit is in imperial, not metric) It is a great fun car and I wish it had more events...

BTW, I think what you are doing is a good idea.

#4 Clemsie McKenzie

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 10:52 PM

I plead guilty, I've probably indeed been watching too much Top Gear for my own good... It's been edited, thanks for your input, and for the nice words!
SQ currently around: 875 - car collection: 55 (Gotta catch them all!) - ingame ID: RAFU_Alonso

The link to the Test Drive Tuesday cars leaderboards: https://goo.gl/ATr6mF

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