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PIKES PEAK, Colo. – Mark Miller, driving a 2006 Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI, conquered the treacherous 12.4-mile course at the 84th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Miller finished the Race to the Clouds in 14 minutes 8 seconds, followed by teammates Ryan Arciero and Danny Sullivan.
The three Touareg V10 TDIs were the first vehicles to use ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) in the Race to the Clouds. This clean diesel fuel reduces emissions of sulfur compounds and allows for the use of advanced emission control systems. The Touareg also is the first light duty vehicle in the U.S. to include a particulate filter that further reduces emissions. The 2006 Touareg’s diesel engine is compliant in all 50 states and consumes up to 30 percent less fuel than traditional gasoline engines.
“The Touaregs, which were basically showroom stock vehicles, were faster than many of the purpose built race cars. For a vehicle with minimal modifications to cover all 12.4 miles, 156 turns at altitudes up to 14,000 feet in just over 14 minutes is remarkable,” said Miller. “The power of the twin-turbo V10 TDI diesel engine was really phenomenal.”
The Touareg V10 TDI is a high-performance, diesel version of Volkswagen’s popular luxury SUV. Its powerful five-liter, 10-cylinder engine boasts 310 horsepower at 3,750 revolutions per minute and offers impressive pulling power with 553 lbs-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm.
“It was my first time competing at the legendary Pikes Peak race, and to team up with Volkswagen made it even more special,” said Arciero. “I really had no idea how competitive we could be in an essentially stock Touareg, but after the first practice runs it was clear that we were going to be quick. That each of us on the Volkswagen team finished in the 14 minute range is a true testament to the overall quality and performance of the vehicle.”
Modifications to the Touareg were made primarily to comply with the safety regulations imposed by the Pikes Peak Race Officials. A roll cage, fire extinguisher, special driver’s seat and a five-point racing seatbelt harness were fitted into the interior. Exterior graphics and a set of Nitto Terra Grappler tires were the only other additions to the vehicle.
“The combination of the powerful engine and the new ULSD fuel was a tremendous asset during this race,” Sullivan said. “Not only was the performance and handling great, but the Touareg was by far the most luxurious and quietest vehicle in the race.”
The 2006 Touareg V10 TDI will go on sale September 1 with a base price of $67,750.
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