Volkswagen's First Hybrid R Vehicle Already Has One Major Drawback

SUV / Comments

Question is, where will it be sold?

For the longest time here in the US, Volkswagen's R branded performance versions of their cars and SUVs have been scarce. The Passat and Touareg R versions have been hurtling around Europe, while we've only had the Golf R to play with. Much as we love a Golf R, variety is, as the cliche goes, the spice of life. We know Volkswagen would like to expand its R performance vehicles in the US, but the vanilla Touareg has left the US so we won't hold our breath for a performance version to come here.

A Touareg R is one we would love to sample properly though, and now things have gotten more interesting as Auto Express is reporting that the brass at Volkswagen has confirmed that a Touareg R model is on the way, and it will be a plug-in hybrid.

Volkswagen AG
Volkswagen AG

According to the publication, VW's sales and marketing boss Jurgen Stackmann said that "even VW's R division will have to adopt electrification as the German brand aims to become a carbon-neutral company by 2050."

What's curious here is that the Golf R is Volkswagen's flagship performance car and a global one. The Touareg is no longer available here in the US, and we're a massive market for Volkswagen. If the automaker wants to become carbon neutral and have success at the same time, wouldn't it make more sense to make the Golf R the first candidate for performance level hybrid electrification?

Greatest AC Schnitzer Models Of All Time
Greatest AC Schnitzer Models Of All Time
Greatest Porsche 911s Ever Made
Greatest Porsche 911s Ever Made
Volkswagen AG
Volkswagen AG
Volkswagen AG

There is a solid argument for starting with the Touareg, though. A Touareg R is not going to be expected to be the sharpest R in the shed and gives Volkswagen's R department some room to learn as it develops a whole new angle.

There are no real details on the Touareg R, but Auto Express expects it to have the same layout as the Touareg plug-in hybrid that's in the Chinese market and expected soon in Europe. That uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder matched to an electric motor for a combined output a little over 360 horsepower and with 516 lb-ft of torque. By the time it becomes a full-fat R version, it should be even heftier.

Volkswagen AG
Volkswagen AG
Volkswagen AG
Volkswagen AG
Volkswagen AG

Join The Discussion

Popular Tags Cars