What a difference some fiberglass makes. When we last showed you the Volkswagen Touareg TDI Trophy Truck without body panels, it looked like a rejected prop from “Mad Max.” When it wears clothes, however, it looks slightly more like its everyday cousin.
O.K, that’s up for debate. Though the truck, built for the Baja 1000 desert race, now resembles an SUV, it’s anything but. Beneath that pretty fiberglass skin is a purpose-built tube-frame chassis which places a 550-hp, 5.5-liter turbo-diesel V-12 just behind the cockpit. It’s much taller than a stock Touareg, too; we’re betting 35-inch tires, Fox Racing shocks and 25- to 30-inches of suspension travel have a hand in altering its stance.
Though Ford seems to enjoy crafting off-road racing vehicles, don’t look for this Touareg to hit a showroom near you. A less-powerful version of its V-12 will appear in European-spec Audi Q7s, but Americans jonesing for a diesel Touareg will have to settle for a 3.0-liter V-6.