Volkswagen AG Press Release (english & german)
VWAG Press Release Touareg Cape to Cape (September 03, 2014)
VWAG Pressemeldung Touareg Cape to Cape (September 03, 2014)
VWAG Press Release Touareg Cape to Cape (October 13, 2014)
VWAG Pressemeldung Touareg Cape to Cape (Oktober 13, 2014)
After the two successful world record-setting drives from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska along the "Panamericana" in 2011, with a record time of 11 days and 17 hours, and a second record-setting drive in 2012 from Melbourne to St. Petersburg in 17 days and 11 hours, this September the team of Rainer Zietlow, Marius Biela and Matthias Prillwitz will once again attempt a new spectacular record in a Volkswagen Touareg. The team will drive in a north-to-south direction through Europe and along the entire African continent through countries in eastern Africa.
The drive starts at Nordkapp, Norway, the northernmost point of Europe, on 21 September 2014. The destination is the southernmost point of Africa, Cape Agulhas, which should be reached in around 10 days. The route is over 17,000 km long, 97% of it paved, and it passes through the countries of Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Ethopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Awaiting the adventurers are deep potholes in Sudan and Ethiopia, countless switchbacks in the African highlands and the infamous "Road of Hell" with its corrugated and volcanic rock surface in northern Kenya. Temperatures typically range from freezing in Norway to 48 degrees Celsius in Sudan.
The team has prepared for this ambitious project for over a year, including a scouting tour in June across Africa that Rainer Zietlow and Marius Biela made in the opposite direction. All critical points have been defined, and the entire route has been mapped with GPS data. During the record-setting marathon drive, the team will drive around the clock in a 3-shift system that will only be interrupted for diesel refuelling stops, meal times and the usual formalities at country borders.
Team leader Rainer Zietlow is being accompanied by Marius Biela, a photographer and video productions specialist and Matthias Prillwitz, an experienced participant of Rallye Deutschland (Rally Germany). The vehicle that is being used is the new Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDI, which is essentially a standard production car. The only modifications made for this ultimate endurance test were to add a rollover cage and two auxiliary fuel tanks to achieve a driving range of over 3,000 kilometres per fuel stop.
During the record drive, the team will post daily reports on their experiences at the website www.touareg-capetocape.com, and a blog will provide information about each day's stage with photos and a brief video. The current position of the Touareg will also be shown on a virtual map that is updated every five minutes. A free app developed by Hewlett-Packard (available from Sept. 18 on Apple and Google Play Store under: HP Cape2Cape) will show current key data from the Touareg such as acceleration, braking behaviour and even suspension damper displacement as well as environment and Social Media data in nearby real time.
As in all of his previous projects since 2005, Rainer Zietlow will donate 20 euro cents per kilometre driven to two SOS Children's Villages in Zambia and Tanzania and visit both villages personally with the Touareg during this record drive. The team also supports "Food & Trees for Africa". This South African organisation promotes sustainable and eco-friendly agriculture. Its planting of around 600 trees in a township in the vicinity of Johannesburg in October 2014 will make the entire "Touareg CapetoCape" project CO2 and climate-neutral, including the record drive and the scouting tour.
The project is sponsored by renowned automotive suppliers, by companies in the IT and service industries and by Volkswagen in Germany, Slovakia and South Africa.