Volkswagen Race Touareg 3 Concept Brings Dakar to the Street

Do you enjoy watching the Dakar Rally? If so, then you probably have day dreamed about driving those awesome off-road racers to the mall or to work. Only problem is, while these racers have minor details like the shape of the headlights and names in common with models you’d find in showrooms, technically, they’re completely different.

Take the Volkswagen Touareg for example. The one that races in the Dakar Rally has little in common with the one you’ll find in the showrooms. That, however, could change if they decide to put the Race Touareg 3 concept into production.

Unveiled at the Qatar Motor Show, this concept marries the madness of the rally machine with some civility from the road going version. Thankfully it is more like the rally car than the normal showroom model.

Not only does it look like the racer that just won the 2011 Dakar rally, but it has the same powertrain also. So you get the same 2.5-liter turbo-diesel engine that produces 296-hp and a whopping 442 lb ft of torque. Power is sent to all wheels via a 5-speed sequential gearbox that has a three-plate ceramic clutch and three limited slip differentials. In other words, this vehicle doesn’t even know the meaning of getting stuck.

It’s quick too, 0-60 mph takes just 6.1 seconds and tops out at 117 mph (due to those large dune bashing tires, otherwise it would have been even faster).

While the cockpit of the race versions have no interior trimming whatsoever, the Race Touareg 3 concept has a fully finished, well appointed interior.

And now the bad news, this awesome concept is just a concept. There are no production plans yet, but if everyone bugs VW enough, they could put it into limited production. Hey, these things have happened before. So if you would like to park one of these on your driveway, tell those Germans at VW to make one for you and your friends.

Watch out Ford Raptor.