There are road trips, and there are road trips. This past summer, drivers Rainer Zietlow, Carlos Fernandez and Marius Biela went from the southern end of Argentina, then covered the whole of the Pan-American Highway (the world’s longest) up through South America, Central America and El Norte, ending up in Deadhorse, Alaska, 11 days, 17 hours and 22 minutes later. That’s 14 countries and around 16,000 miles covered in record time (the previous record was more than three days slower). Their wheels of choice? A 2011 VW Touareg 3.0-liter TDI. It was virtually a non-stop drive, with each man doing five-hour stints, although they had to replenish their special 74-gallon tank every 2,000 miles and timing their bathroom breaks to coincide (now that’s impressive). The motive behind the drive was to commemorate the Pan-American Highway’s 75th anniversary. And for every kilometer travelled, 10 euro cents were donated to children’s charities. The turbocharged diesel engine delivers a lusty 406 lb-ft of torque, and Zietlow and company often achieved 35 mpg, which is great considering how hard they must have been pushing.
2011 Volkswagen Touareg 3.0-Liter TDI - Continental Fast Break