Volkswagen has revealed UK pricing and specification details for the most powerful model it has ever put into series production: the Touareg R.
In keeping with the high-performance R sub-brand’s recent commitment to electrification, the new SUV uses a plug-in hybrid drivetrain to deliver 456bhp and 516lb ft, and can travel for up to 28 miles in electric-only mode. This powertrain propels the near-2.5-tonne SUV from 0-62mph in 5.1sec - just 0.4sec slower than the Golf R hatchback - and on to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. It also manages an official 94.2mpg on the WLTP cycle and emits 67g/km of CO2.
The latest and largest addition to Volkswagen's expanding R performance line-up is priced from £71,995, and brings a raft of added equipment over the standard Touareg in addition to the performance boost. The quilted, ventilated leather sports seats are heated in both the front and rear, as is the sports steering wheel, while blue upholstery stitching, R badging and a 30-colour ambient lighting function set the interior apart from that of the standard car.
The R also brings air suspension, a park assist function, matrix LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, privacy glass and four-zone air conditioning. Visually, the new car follows its R stablemates in adopting a performance-inspired look, with optional Lapiz Blue paint, R badges, a subtle bodykit and gloss black inserts, plus 20in Braga alloy wheels or optional 22in Estoril rims.
Last year, Autocar was shown around the Touareg R by then head of the R division, Jost Capito, who revealed why Volkswagen had opted to make the model a plug-in hybrid rather than use the more powerful mild-hybrid V8 from sibling brand Audi’s recently launched RS Q8.
“The Touareg is the perfect car for the step into electrification,” explained Capito. “The engines from these other cars were never considered, as the Touareg is designed as a comfortable fast cruiser that needs to go from comfortable to sporty, but not extreme sporty. This is a car for enthusiasts but also for people with active lifestyles.”
The petrol-electric set-up is essentially the same one that has already been seen in the latest Porsche Cayenne and Panamera. It comprises a 335bhp turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 mated to a 134bhp electric motor that sits between the engine and the eight-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox and is powered by a 14.1kWh battery mounted beneath the boot floor, which charges from empty to full in 2.5 hours from a standard 7kW charger.