There used to be a sign at the start of Colorado’s infamously twisty and treacherous Black Bear Pass pointing to Telluride that read, “City of Gold, 12 Miles – 2 Hours. You don’t have to be this crazy to drive this road—but it helps. Jeeps only.”
Scratch that last part. Here’s a Volkswagen Touareg!
Volkswagen sadly ditched a lot of its hardest-core off-road options like front and rear locking differentials, adaptive air suspension that could raise or lower the vehicle when needed to clear obstacles, and low range gearing after the Touareg’s first generation in the U.S., likely after seeing so many end up at the mall instead of in the wilderness.
This is a second-generation USDM Touareg, lower ride height and all. It does have a sweet bike rack, though.
According to Overlanderp, the YouTube channel that posted this Touareg truly living its best life, the VW only had stock-size 29-inch BFGoodrich T/A K02 off-road tires on the Touareg’s stock 18-inch wheels when it tackled Black Bear Pass, too. Later, they went to 32-inch tires after a blow-out, but it’s pretty impressive to see the Touareg moving right along in a place where some folks would want to have big rubber meats.
Sure, it’s not a perfect drive—Touareg rear end, meet rock wall—but this lightly kitted out VW holds its own in a place where roughly 99% of actual Jeep-havers are afraid to go. It definitely looks worth it, too, as the views alone are incredible (if not terrifying thanks to the lack of guardrails).
View off Black Bear Pass (left) and the view down Hell’s Gate (right).
Did a little rear-quarter-panel damage stop our interpid Touareg drivers? No!
Overlanderp posted another video of the VW in Moab, this time on the incredibly steep Hell’s Gate section of the Hell’s Revenge trail. We suspect this happened after Black Bear Pass given that the rear quarter panel sports some snazzy duct tape that wasn’t in the Black Bear video.
Hell’s Revenge is classified as an Intermediate trail, where some kind of traction aid (such as traction control or locking differentials) and 33-inch tires are recommended, according to Cruise Moab.
You have to respect the Touareg crew’s dedication to going absolutely everywhere they can with this thing. If you mess up once, get back out there—y’know, on another trail where it’s all too easy to roll over if you get it wrong. The Moab video is even more impressive given how much the Volkswagen teeter-totters on two wheels as it climbs on up. If the resolution were higher than 480p, we could probably make out the entire underbody of the Touareg.
See? Those of you with more capable vehicles than a second-gen Touareg have no excuse not to be out there yourselves. Go forth, and send it, my friends.
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