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Motor extreme: Six Touareg on world tour

3150 km on stage 8 of the VW Experience 360 from China through the desert of Mongolia

VW Touareg Volkswagen Experience China Off-road
Picture by T. Micke

Six VW Touareg, one mission: Managing a world tour, equipped with a half dozen of adventure-willing, paying customers, a few journalists and two guides in 13 stages: From Wolfsburg across North- und South America, transverse through Australia, China, Mongolia, Tibet, India und Africa back to VW Wolfsburg. All in all more than 100 drivers at the wheel of the vehicle, approximately 55.000 kilometers often crossways over rough and smooth, detours not included because of lacking bridges in more than 12 months. That yells adventure, sand sheets and winches, mishaps and thrilling, frightening and beautiful encounters.

In Peking, when we get the cars from the ship containers, they already have a great service behind them and 30.000 km on the clock. In all vehicles beats the VW's solid five cylinder-Diesel-heart with 174 PS from 2.5 liter engine size.

VW Touareg Volkswagen Experience China Road Sign
Picture by T. Micke

Certainly that is not the funniest motorization for a 2.7 Tons heavy loaded Touareg, but instead, one that even handles with adventurous Diesel-fuels when rightly tuned. Apart from that: Special cross-country-tires, underbody protection, cyclone filter and a spring setup from Seikel 4x4. Rest is series except the decadent woodden steering wheel in the journalist-car, which was changed because of an airbag defect (how the wheel must have looked like then?) in Australia without further ado. A standard steering wheel was just not in stock...

VW Touareg Volkswagen Experience 360 China
Picture by T. Micke

The road leads out of Peking up to the north and along very old, picturesque parts of the Chinese wall. Radio contact is indispensable, just because we all fight against the Chinese driving style. Basic principal is: Priority to the large, what only makes the dented autobuses a dangerous combatant. But woe, one of us Long noses would ram one of those cyclists who seldom brake and barley take attention to the traffic lights, with our special driving permissions.

Right away on the first day we learn: Forget about the traffic rules. – Drive, when there is space enough, but move ahead slowly. Prevent jerkily maneuvers and reckon on everything. Even with a full brake on the empty freeway...

< Coming up in part II of our series: European long-nose-men in Chinese custody – with 100 km/h through a Gobi desert sandstorm

© A report by Tobias Micke (07-06-05) – Contact