Adventurers choose Volkswagen Touareg for World Record drive from Melbourne to St Petersburg

Renowned adventurer, Rainer Zietlow, and his Challenge4 team will this Thursday, 26th July 2012 depart Melbourne’s Town Hall in their Volkswagen Touareg TDI, hoping to arrive a record-breaking 16 days later at their destination: St Petersburg, Russia.

Zietlow and his teammates will travel 23,000 kilometres on their adventure and pass through nine countries: Australia, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, China, Kazakhstan and finally Russia.  The team will be looking to their Volkswagen Touareg to carry them through the most extreme climates and road conditions, ranging from the Australian desert, through the rainforests of Sumatra and Java, the Himalaya Passes and the Kazakh Veldt.

The team of three will drive five-hour shifts in rotation, 24 hours a day. They will carry enough provisions for the entire trip and will stop only to refuel in order to keep to their punishing schedule.  The only times the Touareg will be at a standstill will be during transport across water.

Volkswagen Group Australia Managing Director, Anke Koeckler, said: “We wish Zietlow and the Challenge4 team the very best of luck in the pursuit of their latest world record. Along the way, this adventure will prove the Touareg can handle the most strenuous terrain in the world, while demonstrating Volkswagen’s durability, reliability, comfort and fuel efficiency is a match for even the most demanding of driving schedules.”

The Challenge4 team are no strangers to endurance driving, in fact they have already achieved several world records behind the wheels of Volkswagens. Most recently, Zietlow and his team set a new world record for driving the Panamericana road from Argentina to Alaska.  They took just 11 days and 17 hours to reach their goal, and did it all in the same Touareg that will be used in their latest record attempt.

Team Leader, Rainer Zietlow, said: “It feels great to be getting on the road again for this, our latest adventure. Nine countries and 23,000 kilometres in 16 days is a tall order, but thanks to our supporters we have a robust vehicle outfitted with everything we need to get us to St Petersburg!”

The world record journey is also one of goodwill: Zietlow will donate 10 Euro cents for each kilometre driven to Plan International, a charity organisation operating a children’s’ rights project in Laos.

Zietlow and the Challenge4 team have chosen the Touareg V6 TDI for its durability, high-performance and long-range fuel efficiency.  Its turbo-charged 3.0l V6 TDI engine delivers 180kw at 4,000rpm and a maximum 550Nm of torque at 2,000rpm and is designed to perform on rugged terrain and mixed road surfaces at varying altitudes. The vehicle has been equipped with larger tyres and heavy duty suspension for comfort over the undoubted rough terrain, but except for this and an enlarged fuel tank, the vehicle is mechanically standard.

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