New Volkswagen Touareg R revealed – VW’s performance flagship goes hybrid

Volkswagen has rolled out its new flagship Touareg R with a hybrid powertrain pinched from Porsche

Remember the Volkswagen Touareg R50? It was one of Volkswagen’s engineering mega projects under the leadership of the late Ferdinand Piëch, an SUV designed to be superior to all others, powered by a twin-turbocharged 5-litre V10 diesel engine that was bespoke to just it and the even more indulgently designed Phaeton luxury saloon. It’s a striking contrast to the more pragmatic Volkswagen of today, but the Touareg still exists, and once more there’s one with an R badge attached to it.

The Volkswagen Touareg R of 2020 is a different beast to its predecessor though, as it does without any substantially bespoke engineering, mechanical or otherwise, rather combining a selection of Volkswagen Group MLB Evo-friendly components to create a flagship Touareg with a powertrain borrowed from the Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid and Bentley Bentayga PHEV.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

The powertrain itself comprises a 335bhp 3-litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine, a 134bhp electric motor and 13.1kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Together, Volkswagen quotes a peak power figure of 455bhp, with torque peaking at 516lb ft. These numbers are identical to those of both the Porsche and Bentley, and for comparison’s sake 120bhp more than the R50 of 12 years ago, but also some 111lb ft down.

Volkswagen has yet to release official performance figures aside from the 155mph limited top speed, but to use the identically specified Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid as a comparison, we’d suggest it will be close, if not identical to the five seconds it takes to reach 62mph.

All of the Touareg’s 455bhp is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, which is able to vary the split torque by up to 70 per cent front and 80 per cent rear. As a plug-in hybrid, the Touareg R is also able to reach up to 87mph in pure EV mode, and should have around 25 miles of electric range.

Despite the high-tech undercurrent of the new Touareg R, the active anti-roll system and rear-wheel-steering systems as found in other MLB Evo SUVs in the group are not yet available due to packaging constraints, although Volkswagen is adamant they will be available in future.

To help distinguish the Touareg R from its lesser siblings, the R has adopted a few bespoke styling treatments borrowed from the Golf R and T Roc R, including the now associated Lapiz Blue paintwork, up to 22-inch wheel options, unique interior leather finish and a new-generation steering wheel.

UK pricing and final specifications are not yet confirmed, but expect prices to start in the high-£60,000 zone, pitting it against rivals such as the Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid and BMW X5 45e.

Recommended

Visit/volkswagen/18328/2020-volkswagen-id3-1st-edition-priced-from-ps36000
Volkswagen

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 1st Edition priced from £36,000

22 Jul 2020
Visit/volkswagen/202520/visiting-volkswagen-autostadt-museum
Volkswagen

Visiting Volkswagen Autostadt museum

24 Apr 2020
Visit/volkswagen/22170/volkswagen-id-r-everything-you-need-to-know
Volkswagen

Volkswagen ID R: everything you need to know

3 Feb 2020
Visit/volkswagen/201750/volkswagen-id3-r-to-receive-tech-from-track-only-idr
Volkswagen

Volkswagen ID.3 R to receive tech from track-only ID.R 

3 Feb 2020

Most Popular

Visit/ferrari/203127/ferrari-omologata-revealed-latest-bespoke-commission-a-v12-super-coupe
Ferrari

Ferrari Omologata revealed – latest bespoke commission a V12 super coupe

One-off Ferrari Omologata revealed with bespoke body 789bhp V12 engine
25 Sep 2020
Visit/bmw/m3-saloon/20529/all-new-bmw-m3-competition-revealed-an-icon-reborn
BMW M3 saloon

All-new BMW M3 Competition revealed – an icon reborn

This is the all-new BMW M3 Competition saloon which will join the M4 Competition coupe in BMW M’s new M3/4 family
23 Sep 2020
Visit/peugeot/508/22305/2020-peugeot-508-sport-engineered-unveiled-bmw-3-series-rival-turned-to-355bhp
Peugeot 508

2020 Peugeot 508 Sport Engineered unveiled – BMW 3-series rival turned to 355bhp

Peugeot’s first Sport Engineering model has finally been uncovered, the hot 508 featuring a range-topping hybrid powertrain
24 Sep 2020
Visit/hyundai/202950/updated-hyundai-i30-n-revealed-with-optional-dual-clutch-box
Hyundai i30 N

Updated Hyundai i30 N revealed with optional dual-clutch ‘box

It was the hot hatch that upset the status quo, and now the i30 N is back with more power and tech
24 Sep 2020