Volkswagen’s first electrified R model is the brand’s most powerful production car ever

Tom Barnard

22 Sep 2022

Volkswagen’s first electrified R model goes on sale today in the form of the gargantuan Touareg R. The plug-in hybrid is the first to wear the famous R badge, and paves the way for a new generation of electrified performance cars. 

The Touareg R features a petrol plug-in hybrid system producing 455bhp and 700 Nm of torque. This makes it the most powerful production Volkswagen ever. Equipped with a 14.3 kWh battery pack mounted underneath the boot floor, the Touareg has a WLTP electric drive range of 28 miles, and can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just 5.1 seconds - just 0.4 seconds slower than the Golf R.

Drivers can manage the battery’s charge level using the Hybrid menu in the Infotainment system, meaning that drivers can reserve electric drive for when they are driving in urban areas. If the navigation system is active, the battery manager also looks ahead and predictively takes into account the route to the adapt battery use.

VW Touareg R model plug in hybrid vehicle rear A view most drivers will see of the Touareg R: 0-62 in 5.1 seconds

Like other Touaregs in the range, it can tow up to 3.5-tonnes and has a vast cabin capable of carrying huge loads. It also comes with plenty of tech and kit - as it should for £71,995. Air suspension system with automatic self-levelling is standard, along with height adjustment and electronic shock absorption control. A Park Assist package with 360-degree Area View camera will delight towing types, while the intelligent IQ. Light LED matrix headlights use information from the car’s front camera, navigation data and GPS information, steering angle and speed of travel to optimise lighting for numerous driving situations. The system also incorporates LED daytime running lights, LED rear lights with dynamic turn signal, and Dynamic Light Assist high-beam control. 

The Touareg R marks the start of Volkswagen’s move towards electrified performance car. The brand has dropped a number of hints to suggest that an ID.3 model is in the works, and with stablemate Cupra planning to introduce a high performance Born model based on the same platform, this would be a welcome addition to the range.  

VW Touareg R model plug in hybrid vehicle interior dash A kit of alright. Loads of gadgets to keep drivers occupied

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