Rainer & team drive from Texas to Alaska in 2 days

Rainer Zietlow and team love the States. No, really. The excellent road conditions, abundance of Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel filling stations, friendly faces and lovely weather this time of year make driving their Volkswagen Touareg TDI Clean Diesel a joy. So it may seem odd that they spent so little time in the Continental U.S., but don’t be offended, Americans. It’s just that they have a lot of ground to cover, and did they ever cover it.

The TDI-Panamericana Endurance Challenge entered the U.S. at El Paso, Texas, fueled up, then kept on keepin’ on, exiting the U.S. upon entering Alberta, Canada and then re-entering the U.S. in Alaska. Here’s more from Rainer:

Days 10-11, July 11th to 12th, Texas to Alaska

Happy to be in the U.S.! We quickly sought out a gas station in El Paso, Texas and then continued through Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, where the weather was excellent. For us, driving in the U.S. is much more enjoyable. We no longer have to worry about border stops, difficult roads or wintery weather. Within two days, we reached Canada, where we just missed a nasty weather front. We drove along the Alaska Highway, which was constructed in 1942 to connect the contiguous U.S. to Alaska through Canada. Since we made excellent progress, we arrived at the Alaska border on the morning of the 13th. Due to the fact that we can fuel up with Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel at almost any gas station in the U.S. and Canada, we did not have to fill the additional 300-liter tank for the last couple of days. The Touareg maintained its great performance, but it will get more challenging for the Touareg and team when we hit the famous Dalton Highway in Alaska. So far, Alaska has greeting us with rain, but the team spirit is strong and focused as we get closer to achieving our goal. After 12 to 13 days of driving, the team is working very well together. 

- Rainer

Tell us: how many states have you traveled through in a 48-hour period?

Be sure to check back on Friday, July 15th for his next update from the Pan-American Highway. And remember: you can follow Rainer’s adventures online at www.tdi-panamericana.com, where you’ll find a map and live streaming video to show the Touareg’s real-time progress on the route, as well as photos and videos documenting the journey from start to finish.

Rainer’s team is driving a 2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Clean Diesel. The Touareg’s 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 TDI® Clean Diesel engine and 4MOTION® all wheel drive (AWD) system deliver the performance and durability required to tackle the many twists and turns of the Pan-American Highway. The engine provides an impressive maximum torque of 406 lbs.-ft. at 1,750 to 2,250 rpm while producing 225 horsepower at 3,500 to 4,000 rpm.

In order to account for the demands of the TDI-Panamericana Endurance Challenge, Rainer’s Touareg has been modified to include:

  • Innovative Inmarsat satellite technology for live communication, even in the most remote areas
  • The largest tires that fit the Touareg to better address bumpy roads throughout South America
  • An additional 300-liter fuel tank to extend the distance the vehicle can travel between refueling