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2011 Dakar Rally
2011 Dakar Rally

Volkswagen to contest 2011 Dakar Rally with new Race Touareg 3

Wolfsburg (11 November 2010). Extreme desert passages, dizzying heights in the Andes,
fast gravel sections – the Dakar Rally remains the longest and toughest test in motorsport:
Volkswagen is determined to bring the title home to Wolfsburg for the third consecutive
time. This is the aim for which the new Race Touareg 3 and the four proven driver pairings
have been carefully prepared. Volkswagen is the only manufacturer so far to have decided
the automobile classification of the desert classic in its favour with diesel technology. From
01 to 16 January 2011, which marks the third edition of the “Dakar” through Argentina and
Chile, the historic 2009 and 2010 exploits are to be succeeded by another triumph with TDI
power. The challenge remains an immense one: in addition to battling very powerful rally
rivals, the Volkswagen squad first has to successfully master the gruelling special stages,
which means beating the “Dakar” itself.

“The two past Dakar victories are the greatest successes which Volkswagen has so far
achieved in motorsport. But this by no means makes the task any easier. Our rivals will do
everything within their power to defeat us, plus the entire squad will be in for 14 tough
days,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. “This is why we didn’t rest on our
laurels but have systematically optimised the Race Touareg on the proven base.
Mechanics, engineers, co-drivers and drivers, as well, have been working on many details
to be prepared better than ever. It will again be a difficult task but we’re tackling the 2011
Dakar Rally with confidence. Our aim is to win for the third consecutive time.”

Four new Race Touareg cars, four strong Volkswagen duos, one aim

For the hat-trick mission Volkswagen relies on the newly developed third generation of the
Race Touareg. The four 310-hp “Dakar” prototypes will be piloted at the cross-country rally
from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans and back by proven driver/co-driver pairings. Carlos
Sainz/Lucas Cruz (E/E) – who have been unbeaten at four jointly contested cross-country
rallies so far – will start into the event as the title defenders. The winners of the 2009
“Dakar” – Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D) – are regarded as equally tough team-
internal rivals as Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk (Q/D), who finished 2010 as the
runners-up with a narrow margin, and Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/ZA), who were the
narrowly beaten runners-up in 2009.

The next one is always the toughest one:
9,000 “Dakar” kilometres through South America

The most arid region on Earth is the Dakar Rally’s centrepiece: the Atacama desert. In 2011
six of the 14 special stages will take place in these inhospitable areas. In addition to high
dunes with deep sand, two crossings of the Andes at altitudes of over 4,700 metres above
mean sea level and fast gravel stages on hard soil will be part of the daily challenges.
2011 Dakar Rally – Technology

High-tech made in Wolfsburg: the third-generation Race Touareg

Wolfsburg (11 November 2010). Remembering one’s own fortes plus the courage to follow
familiar paths in a radically new way: the Volkswagen Race Touareg 3 that has been freshly
developed for the 2011 Dakar Rally is both an evolution and a revolution. A proven core
subjected to further development and new aerodynamics – this is the heading the engineers
selected for the evolution of the “RT2” into the “RT3“. The minds behind the successor to
the cross-country rally prototype from Wolfsburg that had been victorious in both the 2009
and 2010 Dakar Rallies pursued three aims: a more efficient cooling system, more power
output at high altitudes and improved driveability were the key topics driving the
development of the four-wheel vehicle that now delivers 310 hp. Between the beginning of
the design of the third-generation Race Touareg in mid-April and its competitive debut and
first victory at the Silk Way Rally through Russia in mid-September no more than about 150
days passed: a tightly packed programme which, in addition to the concept design, included
the body of the first prototype, numerous rig tests and quality inspections, the roll-out plus
long-run tests covering the simulated double “Dakar” distance.

“With the Race Touareg 3 we were seeking to achieve a balance between deploying
completely new developments and our strengths that have grown over the past few years,”
says Eduard Weidl, “Dakar” Project Manager at Volkswagen Motorsport. “There is no other
motorsport discipline where absolute resistance and reliability count as much as at the
Dakar Rally. In view of this, every single decision we took with respect to the vehicle’s
further development involved a process of weighing up the options. I am convinced that we
have managed to make what has to date been the world’s most powerful and most reliable
cross-country rally vehicle even better for 2011.”

Radical air flow routing, more efficient powertrain components, clever software

Although it accounts for less than three per cent of the Race Touareg 3’s total weight, it is
the crucial component of its evolution into the third model generation: the body. The outer
skin of the “Dakar” prototype made of carbon fibre reinforced plastics merely tips the scales
at near-50 kilograms. But in terms of shape it is a milestone achievement in which
Volkswagen has realised a new cooling concept in addition to visually adapting the rally
prototype to the model change of its production counterpart. The radiators located behind
the cockpit were enlarged and receive an optimal supply of fresh air thanks to a double air
inlet in the roof. The fuel, brake and damper cooling systems were perfected as well. The
new air flow routing reduces the accumulation of air underneath the carbon skin. Especially
on hot desert stretches driven at relatively low speeds where the amount of air supplied is
accordingly low while the required engine power is high nonetheless this leads to a notable
plus in performance.

Another area on which the engineers focused their attention was the powertrain
components of the new Race Touareg 3. In addition to numerous detailed improvements, a
new gear ratio improves driveability. A new intercooler, developed in collaboration with the
prototyping department of the Volkswagen brand, which replaces the supplier component
that has traditionally been used in many motorsport categories with a proprietary part,
delivers a significant efficiency increase. Less pressure losses in the entire intercooling
system enable a higher power output of the 2.5-litre TDI engine. The five-in-line unit with a
two-stage turbocharger now delivers 310 hp.

The Dakar Rally will cross the mountain ranges of the Andes twice on its way through
Argentina and Chile. The highest elevation to be mastered by the four Race Touareg 3 cars
is the San Francisco pass between Chile and Argentina at 4,726 metres above mean sea
level. The factor height plays a crucial part in the battle for overall victory particularly at the
Dakar Rally in South America. Volkswagen left nothing to chance with respect to this aspect
either: the altitude application developed for the 2009 and 2010 Dakar Rally received a
software update for 2011 which keeps performance losses in thinner air as low as possible.

State-of-the-art: the suspension components of the Race Touareg 3

Hilltop jumps and fast gravel sections on the one hand and soft, deep desert sand on the
other: the characteristics of any Dakar Rally day fundamentally change several times on the
special stages. This poses an enormous challenge particularly to the versatility of the
suspension components. The suspension used in the “RT3” is state-of-the-art thanks to
many years of detailed developments. Friction in the suspension has been permanently
reduced ever since Volkswagen entered cross-country rally sport and launched the Race
Touareg program. Due to the use of special mounts the suspension of the “RT3” generates
a maximum of traction. In addition, the Race Touareg 3 owes a plus in driveability to the use
of high-performance dampers – two per wheel – which were developed in collaboration with
technology partner ZF Sachs Race Engineering.
2011 Dakar Rally – Technology

Andreas Lautner: “Our preparation is our really big strength”

Wolfsburg (11 November 2010). A gruelling desert, extreme climatic conditions, high
altitudes: the Dakar Rally is the toughest test in motorsport. Volkswagen will be fielding the
newly developed Race Touareg 3. Andreas Lautner, Technical Director of Volkswagen
Motorsport, is responsible for the mission. A brief interview.

How much restraint is necessary and how much courage is possible to develop a
successor to a victorious “Dakar” car like the Race Touareg 3?
“With respect to the suspension development we were indeed very conservative because
we were able to draw on a proven system that is very competitive. Our really big strength
lies in our careful preparation and the resulting reliability, which we had to preserve despite
detailed optimisations. Instead we put our main focus on optimising the aerodynamics,
which enabled us to achieve major progress in cooling. I believe that we managed to
achieve a good compromise between risk and restraint.”

What is the advantage of the new air flow routing of the Race Touareg 3?
“The new aerodynamics of the Race Touareg 3 is the result of experience gained over the
past few years. The question was: how can we improve the performance capabilities of the
car? We realised that the combination of high altitudes, high ambient temperatures and the
condition of the terrain may lead to high water temperatures. Although this was not harmful
to the car thanks to our component protection it did result in a performance loss. We
rethought this topic from scratch and then completely revised our cooling concept.”

What other development objective was ranking at the very top of the specifications?
“The modification of the intercooling system was a major objective. The main focus, initially,
was not on increased power and performance but on higher component quality. Up to that
point, we’d already been using the best product on the market. Together with Volkswagen
Prototyping we developed an internal solution that now replaces this supplier component
with an in-house component. That in the end we also achieved a plus in performance was a
welcome side effect.”

A progress in maintenance was achieved with the Race Touareg 3 as well. What kind
of progress?
“Before and during the ‘Dakar’ the body and the maintenance of the vehicles are key
aspects. On location, there is no clinical cleanliness like in a Formula 1 paddock. Instead
the vehicles become extremely dirty. Therefore, we added even more detail to our
meticulous documentation – a sort of bodywork handbook for mechanics if you like. It was
important to us to assure that all four Race Touareg cars to be fielded at the 2011 ‘Dakar’
are absolutely identical to the vehicle with which didn’t have the slightest problem during the
two-week long-run tests. Now we’ve assured this down to the level of the smallest detail.”
2011 Dakar Rally – Technology

Facts and figures on the “Dakar” technology of the Race Touareg 3

Wolfsburg (11 November 2010). 14 Dakar Rally legs – a cross-country marathon from the
Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans and back. Facts and figures on the technology of the
Volkswagen Race Touareg 3.

Did you know that ...

... a total of 132 sensors are installed in the Race Touareg 3? They record temperatures,
pressures and mechanical movements.

... that 250 MB of sensor data is read and analysed by the engineers every day on location?
The data volume corresponds to about 16,500 A4-size pages of pure, single-spaced

... every minute detail of the Race Touareg 3 must have been run in tests over at least one
and a half of the “Dakar” distance without any problems before being fielded? The approval
tests concern single components and component assemblies.

... the quickest deflection motion of the suspension amounts to about nine metres per
second? The regulations limit suspension travel for Class T1 “Dakar” prototypes like the
Race Touareg 3 to 250 millimetres. The suspension travel of other vehicles, such as those
in the Buggy category, may amount to about 1,000 millimetres.

... the damper pistons cover a distance of about 150 metres of cumulated movement per
kilometre at the Dakar Rally?

... the Dakar Rally, in addition to soft desert sand, also features fast gravel sections? On the
penultimate leg of last year’s event between San Rafael and Santa Rosa the longest flat-
out distance driven by Volkswagen “factory” driver Nasser Al-Attiyah without lifting was
30,013 metres. In 2011 special stages in “La Pampa” will be part of the route again.

... the Race Touareg 3 with a weight of 1,787.5 kilograms prescribed by the regulations is
lighter than the vehicles of its direct rivals but that instead its engine is limited to a
displacement of 2.5 litres?

... the typical maximum levels of braking pressure generated by a driver amount to about
70 Bar? This equates to the atmospheric pressure that exists, for example, at a water depth
of 700 metres.

... Carlos Sainz in January 2010, on the special stage between Antofagasta and Copiapó,
changed gears a total of 2,066 times? In 2011 this leg – albeit with a new route – will be on
the agenda again.
2011 Dakar Rally – Technology

Volkswagen Race Touareg 3

Design                Five-cylinder in-line TDI diesel engine, two-stage turbo-charging
                      system with two exhaust turbo-chargers and intercooling,
                      longitudinally mounted behind the front axle
Displacement          2,500 cc
Power output          Approx. 228 kW (310 hp)
Torque                Over 600 Nm
Air restrictor        38 mm (FIA/ASO regulations)
Engine management     Bosch

Power transmission
Gearbox            Sequential five-speed racing gearbox, longitudinally mounted
Final drive        Permanent four-wheel drive, three mechanical differentials with
                   viscous locking options
Clutch             Hydraulically actuated ZF Sachs three-place ceramic clutch

Front/rear suspension Double wishbones, two ZF Sachs spring/damper units
                      per wheel
Suspension travel     250 mm, according to regulations
Steering              Power-assisted rack and pinion steering
Braking system        Disc brakes with all-around inside ventilation (Ø 320 mm),
                      aluminium brake callipers (six pistons front and rear)
Rims                  7 x 16 inches
Tyres                 BFGoodrich “All Terrain” 245-80/16

Body                   Steel space frame, two-door carbon fibre body

Dimensions and weight
Length/width/height 4,171/1,996/1,762 mm
Track width         1,750 mm front/rear
Wheelbase           2,820 mm
Minimum weight      1,787.5 kg

Acceleration           0–100 km/h in 5.9 seconds (on hard ground)
Vmax                   Approx. 190 km/h
For Media

Contacts and Service

Volkswagen Motorsport GmbH
Ikarusallee 7a                                Stefan Moser
D-30179 Hannover                              Head of Marketing & Communications
Tel. + 49 511 67494-888                       Mobile +49 152 22859259
Fax + 49 511 67494-789              

Andre Dietzel                                 Ingo Roersch
Communications                                Communications
Mobile +49 175 7234689                        Mobile +49 172 1499157 – Volkswagen’s media database offers:

•   A daily information service on the Dakar Rally in German and English with quotes from
    all “factory” drivers as well as Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen
•   News from the bivouac, brief interviews and current results
•   Radio-broadcast-quality sound bites as audio files
•   Daily high-resolution pictures
•   A results service via text (SMS) messages
•   Bios of all Volkswagen factory drivers
•   Basic texts and other information on Volkswagen’s entire motorsport commitment
•   Dakar Rally press kits as PDF documents for downloading
•   The Dakar Rally Media Guide as a PDF document for downloading (from December)
•   Ordering function for TV footage including online forecast and shot lists
•   Mailing of press releases in language of choice (German/English)


• (media database)
• (public website)
• (official Dakar Rally website)

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