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Team In 2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Sets Record Time on World's Longest Highway

By Jacob Brown | July 21, 2011
Traversing almost 16,000 miles over 11 days, 17 hours, and 22 minutes, a team of drivers set out to prove the ruggedness of their 2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI by traveling the entire length of the Pan-American Highway. And prove it they did, making record time through 14 countries to make it all the way to the highway’s end in Deadhorse, Alaska. Paragraphimage Celebrating the Pan-American Highway's 75th anniversary, off-road driver Rainer Zietlow and his teammates, German drivers Carlos Fernandez and Marius Biela, took off from the southernmost tip of Argentina on July 2. Over the next 11 days they crossed through Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama — floating over Panama’s Darien Pass by boat — Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, the United States, and Canada before finishing their journey in Alaska. In the process, the crew stopped only for basic maintenance like brake pad replacements and air filter changes to cope with volcanic ash in the atmosphere in South America and took one hour-long break per day. However, the team’s grueling schedule paid off, ensuring them not only a record time, but also one that’s not likely to be broken for some time, almost four days shorter than the previous record. With this event, Volkswagen set out to demonstrate the durability of its diesel engine. Packing 225 horsepower and 406 lb.-ft. of torque, the 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 diesel engine used in the Zietlow’s Touareg was the same engine you'll find in any Touareg TDI fresh off the showroom floor. Volkswagen claims 25 percent lower emissions than comparable gasoline engines, and it achieves an EPA-estimated 19 city/28 highway mpg rating. From August 1 to August 30, Zietlow will be driving his record-setting Touareg across the U.S. to dealerships to espouse the virtues of his diesel Volkswagen. There, he will also have a documentary on-hand of his journey. Source: Volkswagen
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