Volkswagen’s R performance division has done what it’s wanted to for some time – it has built the VW Touareg R.
Taking up the mantle as VW’s most powerful model, the Touareg R bring hybrid power into the mix and borrows tech from its stablemate Porsche.
Its 3.0-litre V6 features across the Audi and Porsche range in a tune similar to that of the 250kW Touareg R, but a plug-in hybrid system increases that to 340kW, with 700Nm on tap.
This puts the Touareg R on par for its outputs with the Porsche Panamera 4E-Hybrid. Volkswagen doesn’t claim a 0-100km/h figure yet but, as the Panamera does the run in 4.6 seconds, it’d be no surprise for this to be a sub-5sec SUV.
But it’s not all about speed and power with the Touareg R. Aside from a towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes and a ‘Trailer Assist’ feature, the hybrid system in the fast SUV is also quite clever, with VW saying it can even manage its own power use based on the trip plan.
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“If the navigation system is active, the battery manager also looks ahead and predictively takes into account the route and topography data to the adapt battery use and thus optimise the electric range.”
Up to 140km/h, the Touareg R can run entirely on electric power, and will be able to keep its driver assist function active up to 250km/h.
In recent years Australia has been (and likely still is at time of publish) the third largest market for R cars worldwide, so it’s likely Australia will see the Touareg landing on its shores in droves.
According to a VW Australia spokesperson, Volkswagen’s R division in Germany pays close attention to what VW Australia is interested in.
In addition, Volkswagen Australia has been asking about a larger ‘R’ car like a Tiguan or Touareg.
“A Tiguan’s definitely one we’ve pushed with them, and we’d love to see the return of something larger in the passenger space for an R model,” VW Australia’s product manager Todd Ford told MOTOR at a late-2018 event.