Wolfsburg, Germany - Volkswagen has ripped the covers off the first blue-blooded R version of the Touareg luxury SUV and while it’s not in the same league, output wise, as those fellow German heavy-hitters from the AMG, M and RS stables, the VeeDub does have an upper hand in the electrification race.
The Touareg R is a plug-in hybrid with system outputs of 340kW and 700Nm, when its 250kW 3-litre V6 turbopetrol engine and the electric motor are working in tandem.
Thanks to the 14.1 kWh battery that’s built into the boot floor the Touareg R can also drive on electric power only at up to 140km/h if it’s been charged. VW has yet to mention exactly how much distance it will cover between charges, but does state that the vehicle will cover “typical commute distances” without having to resort to petrol propulsion.
Power goes to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox and 4Motion permanent all-wheel-drive system that can send up to 70 percent of the drive force to the front axle and up to 80 percent to the back when deemed necessary. Apart from the EV mode that the vehicle defaults to when the battery is sufficiently charged, drivers can also choose Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport and Individual driving modes.
The Touareg R rolls on 20-inch Braga alloy wheels and comes standard with an ‘R’ design package that includes model-specific bumpers as well as black colouring for the grille, window strips and mirror housings.
Although it will undoubtedly be the most ‘engaging’ model in the range for those that enjoy driving, the Touareg R is also available with some advanced driver assist gizmos for those occasions when the driver wants to hand over some control.
To that end it’s available with the company’s advanced Trailer Assist system, which can manoeuvre a trailer backwards into a parking space or gateway almost automatically, and an enhanced version of the Travel Assist semi-automated driving system can also be ordered.
The Volkswagen Touareg R will make its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show in early March, before hitting world markets during the second half of the year. Hopefully South Africa is part of that plan too.