New Volkswagen Touareg R on sale now priced from £71,995

The Volkswagen Touareg R flagship performance SUV is available to order in the UK now with a 456bhp 3.0-litre V6 plug-in hybrid powertrain

The Volkswagen Touareg R is on sale now, priced from £71,995. Despite its performance badging, the new SUV will rival other plug-in hybrid premium SUVs such as the Range Rover Sport PHEV and BMW X5 xDrive45e.

Standard equipment includes 22-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights, privacy glass and smoked tail light lenses, along with an R-specific body kit that includes deeper front and rear bumpers, chunkier side skirts and a larger tailgate spoiler. Inside, buyers get diamond-quilted leather upholstery, a heated sports steering wheel, a 30-colour ambient lighting system and backlit R-branded treadplates.

The Touareg R inherits VW’s Innovision infotainment set-up, comprising a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 15-inch central touchscreen. Other cabin upgrades include a head-up display, four-zone climate control, six USB ports, a 360-degree parking camera and a panoramic glass roof.

VW’s new performance SUV is powered by a reworked version of the plug-in hybrid powertrain found in the Bentley Bentayga Hybrid. The system comprises a 335bhp 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine, a 134bhp electric motor and a 14.3kWh battery pack, for a combined output of 456bhp. 

Power is sent through an eight-speed automatic gearbox to all four wheels, with an active control system that can send up to 70 per cent of the engine’s torque to the front wheels, or up to 80 per cent to the rear, depending on which axle has the most traction.

Combined, the Touareg’s new plug-in hybrid powertrain also produces 700Nm of torque, which Volkswagen says is enough to accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155mph.

Volkswagen also says the Touareg R can travel at up to 87mph in electric mode and, when connected to a wallbox, thanks to an on-board 7.2kW charger its battery will recover a full charge in around two and a half hours. Charging using a household three-pin plug will take eight and a half hours.

The hybrid set-up does help efficiency, with claimed fuel economy of 94.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 67g/km.

As with lesser Touaregs, the R shares its platform with other large Volkswagen Group SUVs, such as the Audi Q7 and Lamborghini Urus and rides on a same self-levelling air suspension but, unlike some of its sister vehicles, the Touareg isn’t available with four-wheel steering or Volkswagen’s active anti-roll system.

The German brand says this is due to the packaging constraints of the plug-in hybrid powertrain. However, its engineers assure us that they’re looking into introducing both systems at a later date.

Volkswagen’s semi-autonomous Travel Assist function is also fitted as standard on the Touareg R. The system can assume control of the car’s steering, throttle and brakes on the motorway, providing level 2 driving assistance at speeds of up to 155mph.

Now read all the latest news on the Touareg R’s little sister, the Tiguan R. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…

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