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WOLFSBURG, Germany December 21, 2004; The Touareg is the 2004 “4x4 of the year”. The VW off-road vehicle was chosen by the readers of Off Road magazine.

This could be a good omen: last year, the Touareg’s motor sport counterpart achieved its first stage win in the Dakar Rally shortly afterwards. The next “Dakar” gets underway on the 31 December following the same omen – sometimes you have to be a little superstitious.

It was definitely a clear choice by Off Road magazine: 39.9 percent of all participants voted for the Touareg in the “Luxury SUV” category. It had more than a 20 percent lead over the Porsche Cayenne and the Volvo XC90. Almost simultaneously, the VW off-road vehicle achieved first place in its class in the Australian “World On Wheels Automobile Of The Year Awards”. The Touareg now has more than two dozen international prestigious prizes under its belt.

One reason for these numerous successes and the high market acceptance of the VW off-road vehicle is probably its superior technical properties. As agile and safe on asphalt roads as a passenger car, the Touareg makes its way over almost every type of off-road terrain, which is a balancing act which only a few off-road vehicles manage to do.

An example: the “Dakar”. The “standard” Touareg is once again being used for the service vehicles at the most unforgiving rally in the world. They may well have sports seats, a roll cage and an off-road navigation system but other than that, they are equipped in exactly the same way as every other Touareg. The off-road vehicles accompany a total of four race Touaregs driven by Jutta Kleinschmidt (Germany), Juha Kankkunen (Finland), Bruno Saby (France) and Robby Gordon (USA), all of whom want a successful finish in their race Touareg. Finishing the Dakar on 16 January at all is a success. Fingers crossed.