Having been scheduled for its global debut at the Geneva Motorshow, the new fast Touareg with the full-cream R treatment has some interesting indications towards the VW electrification plans of the future. Power is provided not from the expected VAG 4.0Litre V8, but instead a smaller V6 TSI engine with the Plugin-Hybrid system.
Externally the R gets some additional blacked-out vents, grill and trimming and the R-Line visual package in combination with Range Optional, Black style package with the combination of 20-inch Suzuka wheels, finished in black with the optional 22Inch Estoril alloy in either black or burnished black.
The Focus behind the R distinction is the Performance focus and The R promises some Serious numbers. The Turbocharged 3.0Litre V6 producing 250Kw engine is combined with a 100Kw electric motor for a combined 340Kw and 700Nm, driven to all four-wheels via 4-Motion permanent AWD. Not forgetting its SUV routes drive is through an 8-Speed automatic with a centre locking diff with what VW has dubbed asymmetrical torque distribution which can split power 70/80 front to rear. The Hybrid motor and battery system feature an E-Mode which allows for speeds up to 140Km/h (dependant on charge) in a full EV mode.
The key internal differences with the Performance variant of the Touareg is specification through both through the options list and as standard. Finished in the standard black leather with contrasting crystal grey stitching, with “R ” insignia on the head restraints denoting the exclusivity that is R’s interior equipment treatments.
The use of aluminium in the door inserts, high gloss Black finishes to the centre console and the optional Vienna leather for the comfort seat option. A redesigned heated Multi-function steering wheel, and the aluminium door sills with more ‘R‘ insignia, function as constant reminders to the understated presence the ‘R‘ treatment has given it. Specification remains mainly unchanged from the standard model with the Innovision Cockpit featuring the 12-Inch Digital instrument panel, 15-Inch TFT touchscreen Infotainment System, standard Light LED matrix headlights, panoramic sunroof and 4-zone Climatronic climate control.
Premium SUV is always an exhibition of the latest tech and the list of Active, Dynamic and passive safety is long and inclusive. Adaptive Travel assist or Cruise control up to 250km/h driver autonomy, self-parking aids for trailers, 4-Motion permanent AWD, lane keep assist, sign recognition, the list is extensive. The critical difference between top-spec Toureag R and the rest of the range being the Hybrid Drivetrain has created the need for some changes to the car as a whole and the addition of features. The access to displays on the energy reserves, flow and supply to the drive train as this changes via the digital cockpit.
VW Touareg R
The R promises serious performance contention and Hybrid electrification benefits that make the R an exciting prospect in the highly contested fast SUV market.