Road Trip: TDI-Panamericana Endurance Challenge Sets Record -
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Road Trip: TDI-Panamericana Endurance Challenge Sets Record

TDI-Panamericana Endurance Challenge Team Conquers 16,000 Miles in Record Time Demonstrating the Power and Durability of Clean Diesel Technology


Deadhorse, AlaskaOn  July 13, after 11 days, 17 hours and 22 minutes of non-stop driving,  renowned adventurer and off-road driver Rainer Zietlow and his team set a  new world record certified by Tüv Nord Mobility <>  for driving the length of the Pan-American Highway as they crossed the  road’s end in Deadhorse, Alaska.


The TDI-Panamericana Endurance  Challenge team covered 14 countries and nearly 16,000 miles in a 2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Clean Diesel SUV.

Their journey to commemorate  the 75th Anniversary of the Pan-American Highway’s establishment breaks the previous record by more than three days.

"Our adrenaline is still pumping after setting the new world record  on the Pan-American  Highway,” said Rainer Zietlow, manager of the  German car event agency, Challenge4 GmbH, after finishing the Challenge.  

"We were able to overcome every weather challenge along the way, and  our fueling and transportation stops ran like clockwork. Thanks to our  sponsors, we were outfitted with a vehicle that could handle the  demanding driving schedule and challenging conditions, and had amazing  technical and driver support along the way.”


Zietlow and his German teammates, Carlos Fernandez and Marius Biela, started their journey on July 2 at the southern-most tip of Argentina  where the Pan-American Highway begins.

They traveled through 14  countries – Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa  Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, the United  States and Canada – and through challenging conditions ranging from a  blinding sandstorm in Chile to muddy roads in northern Alaska.

The team  drove day and night, taking five-hour driving shifts throughout the  trip. The TDI-Panamericana Endurance Challenge website, , shared the team’s experiences through blog posts and videos and tracked their progress using a live map.


This world record journey was also one of goodwill. Zietlow will  donate 10 Euro cents for each kilometer that was driven this trip to two  villages in Latin  America managed by Plan International <> ,  a charity organization that works in 48 developing countries to promote  children’s rights and lift millions of children out of poverty.

Zietlow chose the Touareg TDI® Clean Diesel for its durability,  high-performance and long-range fuel efficiency. Its turbocharged 3.0L  V6 TDI® engine delivers 225 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque and is  designed to perform on rugged terrain and mixed road surfaces at varying  altitudes. The clean diesel Touareg consumes 30 percent less fuel and  produces up to 25 percent lower CO2 emissions than comparable gasoline vehicles.


"Volkswagen congratulates the Challenge4 Team on their success,” said  Rainer Michel, vice president of product marketing, Volkswagen of  America. "We knew that the Volkswagen Touareg TDI Clean Diesel SUV  could be pushed to unimaginable limits. The completion of the  TDI-Panamericana Endurance Challenge in record-setting time demonstrates  the vehicle’s durability, reliability, comfort and fuel-efficiency.  This is a great vehicle for adventurers, driving enthusiasts and  families alike.”

From August 1 through August 30, Zietlow will drive the  record-setting Touareg to Volkswagen dealerships across the nation where  interested public can watch a movie about his journey and look inside  the vehicle. To see the tour schedule, visit

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