The first-ever Volkswagen R performance hybrid is here.
With the exception of the Golf R, Volkswagen's hot R models are traditionally forbidden fruit in the US. That means American buyers have missed out on some high-performance VWs like the PassatR and Touareg R. Sadly, this latest VW R model continues that trend: say hello to the all-new Volkswagen Touareg R. Sadly, since the regular Touareg hasn't been sold in America since the new model arrived for the 2018 model year, the new R version is unlikely to go on sale in the US.
What sets the new Touareg R apart is that this is the first VW R model to pack a hybrid powertrain. Powering the range-topping Touareg R is a 3.0-liter V6 TSI gasoline engine with 335 horsepower and a 134-hp electric motor providing a combined 455 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid powertrain is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and a transfer box that sends power to a permanent 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. Combined with a central differential lock, this system can send up to 70 percent of the power to the front axle and up to 80 percent to the rear axle.
When running on pure electric power, the Touareg R can be driven up to 86 mph before the V6 TSI engine kicks in automatically. With this setup, 0-62 mph is expected to take around five seconds, while top speed is electronically limited at 155 mph. Thanks to a 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery mounted under the floor, the sporty SUV can run solely on electric power for 30 miles.
Aesthetically, aggressive bumpers, body-color bumpers and lower door sections, air intake grilles with black accents, black trim strips on the side windows and grille, black exterior mirrors, and R badging distinguish the hot Touareg R from its standard sibling. As standard, the new Touareg R rides on 20-inch alloy wheels, but these can be upgraded to 22-inch alloys. A new Lapiz Blue Metallic exterior color is also available.
Inside, standard equipment includes a 12-inch digital instrument cluster, a 15-inch display for the infotainment system, LED matrix headlights, a panoramic sunroof, and four-zone climate control. New for the Touareg R is a black Puglia leather interior package with diamond-shaped stitching on the leather seats and door trim, and Sepang Blue piping in the seat cushion bolsters.
Optional equipment includes a 780-watt sound system, night vision, a travel assist that supports semi-autonomous driving at speeds up to 155 mph on German highways, and a lane-keeping assist. The new Touareg R is also the only plug-in hybrid SUV that offers a trailer assist to help drivers park while towing a trailer.
Pricing hasn't been announced, but VW has confirmed the new Touraeg R will go on sale in Europe in the second half of 2020. Before then, the high-performance SUV will make its public debut at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show next week.