VW unveils the official vehicle of the Sochi Winter Olympics

February 4, 2014 12:00 AM

For automakers, the Olympics offers an unparalleled opportunity to showcase their offerings. It's a chance to unveil models that not only boast state-of-the-art features and minimal auto repair requirements, but that, like the athletes, have a build that boasts unique capabilities. In 2012, BMW managed to plug its line of vehicles, and now it's the Volkswagen Group's time to shine. Because the brand has taken on the role of the official vehicle partner of the 2014 Winter Olympic in Sochi, Russia, VW has dedicated a lot of time, effort and funds into supplying more than 3,000 Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and commercial vehicles for the upcoming games. There's one automobile that stands out among the rest, though: The Polar Expedition Amarok. This car, which was built last year, boasts an array of innovative and intriguing features that are bound to attract attention to the event.

Proven performance
According to Gear Patrol, the vehicles provided will be available to both athletes and officials at the 2014 Olympics as well as the Paralympics in Russia. While all of the automobiles are notable, the Amarok was specifically designed to promote the winter games. Why? Because the truck made an impressive trip to prove it's fit for the harsh climate and rough terrain in the remote regions of Russia. In fact, the vehicle is able to complete the 16,000-mile trans-Russia Amarok Polar Expedition, which is definitely not possible for any regular car. Not only did the automobile have to travel across snowy terrain along the southeastern Kamchatka peninsula and the glacier-covered Sredinny Range, but in some instances, there were no roads at all for the Amarok to drive on. 

Designed for durability
The trek earned the Amarok more than just a spot as the official vehicle of the Olympics. Autoblog reported that the Guinness Book of World Records named this the longest route ever completed in a single country. The expedition took 66 days, and nine people participated in the drive from Moscow to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. So how exactly was the Amarok built to achieve this feat? To ensure that the vehicle was prepared to face the frigid temperatures and absence of roads, the team switched out typical front and rear suspension with heavy-duty shocks. The massive knobby tires were specially designed for maximum traction to avoid sliding on ice and snow. Of course, safety is a top priority, so the interior was fitted with a roll cage and additional navigation equipment. One thing that didn't change much was the 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine. Unfortunately, drivers won't get a chance to drive the real Amarok Polar Expedition truck. However, Volkswagen is offering a similar special edition vehicle in Russia.

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