Volkswagen’s top-of-the-range model Touareg now also features a plug-in hybrid drive. The Touareg R—the first R-Line model to be available as a hybrid—delivers total power output of 340 kW (462 PS) and 700 N·m of torque. The Touareg R can be driven at up to 140 km/h using electric power; above this speed, the turbocharged V6 gasoline engine (TSI) supplements the electric drive motor. The Touareg R will cover most commuter distances fully electrically.
The Touareg R is the third plug-in hybrid model in Volkswagen’s European product line, following the Golf and Passat. The Touareg R is the first all-wheel drive model in Volkswagen’s PHEV range, and is also another milestone in the realignment of Volkswagen R that started in 2019.
The Touareg R is based on the third generation of the product line launched in 2018, which in turn was an evolution of the model first introduced in 2002.
The current Touareg product lineup offers one turbocharged gasoline engine (TSI) model and three turbocharged diesel engines (TDI). The V6 TSI engine delivers a power output of 250 kW (340 PS). As a V6 TDI, the Touareg is available with two output levels: 170 kW (231 PS) and 210 kW (286 PS). The current most powerful Touareg is a V8 TDI with 310 kW (421 PS). The new Touareg R is the range topper.
We are currently vigorously expanding the Volkswagen R range. Following the compact SUV models—T-Roc R and T-Roc Cabriolet R-Line—Volkswagen R is introducing another sport utility vehicle within a very short space of time: the Touareg R, which has a quite unique position and unrivaled charisma.
The hybrid drive of the Touareg R essentially consists of a 2,995 cm3 V6 turbocharged gasoline engine that delivers 250 kW (340 PS), the 100 kW (136 PS) electric drive motor, and a lithium-ion battery (energy capacity of 14.1 kWh) built into the luggage compartment underbody. The power electronics convert the direct current of the battery into alternating current for the electric drive motor.
An 8-speed automatic gearbox (with Tiptronic) and a transfer box transmit power to the front and rear axles (4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive). A center differential lock with asymmetric dynamic torque distribution (Torsen traction) acts as a transfer box for the flow of forces between the front and rear axle. A maximum of 70% of the drive force reaches the front axle and up to 80% reaches the rear axle.
When first started, the Touareg R uses only the electric motor if the battery is sufficiently charged. This ensures that the SUV comes as close to zero emissions as possible, especially on short journeys. This hybrid strategy also provides the greatest savings potential.
The driver can control the hybrid functions and select the driving profile using the Menu button on the 4MOTION Active Control in the center console or the corresponding menu in the Infotainment system. Both are clearly arranged next to each other on a shared screen.
The available hybrid functions are E-MODE for all-electric driving and Hybrid mode for optimized and automatic interaction between the electric motor and the V6 engine. If the driver touches the E-MODE field when in Hybrid mode, the Touareg R switches to all-electric drive at speeds of up to 140 km/h if the battery is sufficiently charged. Conversely, the vehicle switches to Hybrid mode if the driver touches the Hybrid field when in E-MODE.
The E-MODE and Hybrid screen fields display a battery symbol divided into a scale of ten units. The driver can use this to read the respective charge level, which is indicated by the corresponding number of light blue battery segments (0 to 100%). In Hybrid mode, the driver also has the option of maintaining the state of charge using three symbols next to the battery (via the equal sign “=”) or increasing it in 20% increments.
Whenever route guidance is active in the navigation system, the battery manager also predictively takes into account road and topographical data to ensure the set battery energy is available when you reach your destination. During this process, battery use is adapted on the basis of the route data in order to achieve an optimum electric range.
The 4MOTION Active Control also allows drivers to select the desired driving profile in the Touareg R: the driving profile selection is accessed in the Infotainment system by pressing the Menu button. The Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport and Individual profiles for on-road driving and the Offroad and Snow profiles for off-road driving are available as standard.
However, the driver can also manage these modes directly using the operating unit for driving mode selection in the center console. Onroad profiles are selected by turning the dial to the left. If the switch is turned to the right, the off-road profiles are opened. If the Touareg R is equipped with the optional off-road package (including engine skid plate), the driver can also activate the additional Gravel and Sand profiles for off-road driving.
Some 60% of all Touareg owners in Germany and 40% in Europe use their SUV as a towing vehicle—remarkably high figures.
Like all Touareg models, the new R version comes with permanent all-wheel drive (4MOTION) as standard. With 4MOTION and the 700 N·m drive system, the Touareg R has also been homologated for a maximum trailer weight of 3.5 tonnes. The premium model can cope with this maximum trailer weight even in E-MODE.
The Touareg can also be fitted with the trailer maneuvering system Trailer Assist. The Touareg will also be available with Travel Assist for the first time. The premium model will be the first Volkswagen to offer assisted driving (automatic longitudinal and lateral guidance) up to a speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).