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The Dakar rally doesn’t get a lot of love in North America, but some of the machinery used in it is extremely badass, and the Volkswagen Race Touraeg 3 is no exception.
Looking like a Touraeg’s homicidal cousin, the Race Touraeg 3 is build for racing on sand dunes and features the appropriate jacked-up bodywork, special BF Goodrich tires and a 2.5L TDI engine making 296 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. The Race Touraeg can sprint to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds, not bad for a massive truck.
With 10,000 km of testing behind it, the Race Touraeg 3 should be competent enough to give Volkswagen yet another Dakar title in 2011.
Gallery: Volkswagen Race Touraeg
Hit the jump to read the official press release
With the demise of Mitsubishi’s Dakar rally program, Volkswagen has stepped in to fill the void left by the iconic Pajero rally truck. The Race Touraeg has performed admirably, but Volkswagen driver Carlos Sainz demanded that the Race Touraeg 3 be a significant step forward from previous iterations.
While the Race Touraeg 2 was mechanically sound, the third generation car will sport serious improvements to the aerodynamics. Spy photos taken in the Alps show the car looking downright mean when devoid of any sponsorship liveries, but we’re at a loss to explain what any of the aesthetic details also double as aerodynamics aides.
The Race Touraeg 3 is expected to make its competition debut in the Silk Way Rally in Russia starting in September, 2010, after which it will enter the Dakar rally in January.
Hit the jump to see the full press release