It’s no secret that Volkswagen is going all-in on electrification – just look at the ID.R. But we’re pretty sure no one was expecting this (at least not right now) – a top-of-the-line performance SUV with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Introducing the Volkswagen Touareg R.
Volkswagen says that the Touareg R represents a “paradigm shift” for the brand, and we think it’s pretty self explanatory. Not only is it the first R model to feature a hybrid drive, but it is also the first time the most powerful vehicle in the entire Volkswagen line-up is powered by an electrified powertrain.
Under the hood is a 3.0-litre V6 turbocharged engine, paired to an electric drive motor for a combined output of 476 hp and 700 Nm of torque. Power is sent through an eight-speed automatic gearbox and a transfer box to drive all four wheels.
The hybrid powertrain is not just about performance here. Volkswagen says that the the Touareg R can cover most commuter distances in pure electric power, up to a top speed of 140 km/h.
The high torque output also means that the Touareg R can haul some pretty serious load. According to Volkswagen, 3.5 tonnes is the official maximum trailer weight. And yes, you can do it with pure electric power, too.
Styling wise, the Touareg R does not shy from showing its performance nature. On the outside, the large SUV gets a Black Style design package, which includes a reworked bumper design, blacked-out chrome trims, as well as 20-inch Braga alloy wheels.
Moving inside, the large performance SUV gets an R-Line interior trim, which includes Vienna leather upholstery with Crsytal Grey stitching, along with with specific Hybrid menu in the infotainment system.
Volkswagen says that the battery manager in the Touareg R also utilises the navigation system in the car, predictively taking into account the route and topography data to better adapt battery usage, and thus optimise the electric range.