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VW road-legal Race Touareg, Gold Edition (2011)

Fri, 28 Jan 2011 00:00:00 -0800

Volkswagen has unveiled two new Touareg SUVs at the inaugural Qatar motor show. One is a rather cool road-going version of the Race Touareg 3 that’s just notched up a victory at the 2011 Dakar rally, and the other is an awful monster called the Touareg Gold Edition.

Underneath the skin it’s a genuine version of the latest Race Touareg 3, with a turbocharged 2.5-litre diesel engine, a trick four-wheel drive system and a super-stiff chassis. But VW has made some tweaks so it can be used on the road, including junking the 16in rally rubber for new BBS 18-inch alloys with a gold-effect look.

More extensive tweaks have been made to the interior, where everything bar the roll cage has been modified. VW’s designers call the straight-edged and all-grey colour scheme the ‘Stealth look’; the cabin is fitted with Nappa leather-covered Recaro buckets, and what isn’t also trimmed in leather is covered in matt carbonfibre. Unfortunately, unless a few wealthy individuals demand their own road-going Race Touareg 3s, this car will remain a concept.

According to VW, it’s a 355bhp V8-engined Touareg that’s been ‘upgraded’ with 24-carat gold. On the outside there’s gold on the grille, air intakes, door strips, roof rails, boot guard, window frames, and the glittering stuff is also used to make the badges. The custom-designed 22-inch wheels are also covered in 24-carat gold.

It’s worse inside, with white Nappa leather to match the white exterior paint, a white Alcantara roof lining, a brown leather dash, gold accents and switches, and walnut wood trim with gold inlays. Thankfully, unless a few wealthy individuals demand their own Touareg Gold Editions, this car will remain a concept.

By Ben Pulman