Volkswagen Touareg TDI sets off for 16 day 23,000 km adventure from Melbourne to St. Petersburg

The team, made up of experienced German adventurer Ranier Zeitlow, Russian journalist Vladimir Gagarin, and German photographer Marius Biela have undertaken a 23,000 km adventure in a Volkswagen Touareg. The trio will traverse from Melbourne to St Petersburg and will cover distance between these two cities in just 16 days. They will be driving round the clock and will be alternating drivers in the process with an aim to set a world record.

Touareg will be powered by a standard engine while it has been fitted with an additional roll cage and an extra fuel tank. The trio set out yesterday from the Victorian capital and are expected to counter hardship, varying altitudes and diverse climatic conditions enroute to the Russian city of St Petersburg.

VW Touareg is fitted with a 3 liter V6 TDI Clean Diesel engine offering 165 kW/225 PS power. The vehicle is sturdy and agile in all kinds of terrain while it consumes 30% less fuel and is 25% more auto emission friendly as compared to others in its category. This is not the first time that Rainer and his team are setting a record. Last year the trio the drove a VW Touareg V6 TDI and recorded the fastest time travel from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego in 11 days 17 hours and 22 minutes.

News release: Touareg adventurer sets off on new world record tour
23,000 kilometres from Melbourne to St. Petersburg

Rainer Zietlow and his team have set off on a new record-breaking trip: the long-distance adventurer is aiming to do 23,000 kilometres from Melbourne to St. Petersburg in a Touareg powered by the standard engine. Zietlow plans to cover the route from the earth’s southernmost city of over a million inhabitants to its northernmost counterpart in less than three weeks.

Armed with additional equipment, such as a roll-cage and an extra fuel tank, Zietlow began his journey with the Touareg yesterday, Thursday, in Melbourne. During the course of his tour the adventurer will cross many climatic and vegetation zones and have to withstand extreme heat, torrential rain, sandstorms and differences in altitude. The Touareg is set to prove its qualities and durability in all the challenging conditions along the way. Efficiency will also play a major role on this extraordinary trip: however, with the environmentally friendly 3-litre V6 TDI Clean Diesel engine (165 kW / 225 PS in the US version) Rainer Zietlow’s team is very well equipped. Compared, for example, to other vehicles of this category with petrol engines the all-terrain Volkswagen consumes 30 per cent less fuel and emits up to 25 per cent less CO2.

In the style of former dispatch riders, Rainer Zietlow is aiming to deliver a letter from the Mayor of Melbourne to the top city official of St. Petersburg. Melbourne is celebrating the 175th anniversary of its naming this year and has been twinned with St. Petersburg since 1989.

Thanks to a modern GPS system that reliably records the team’s position every 30 minutes, everyone interested in following the record journey can do so in real time at

The off-road enthusiast and his team have already set one record. Last year, driving a Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDI they set the fastest time for driving the famous Pan-American highway from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego: just 11 days, 17 hours and 22 minutes.