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Volkswagen Touareg R opens for order in UK as technology and performance-focused flagship

The Touareg R boasts a multitude of talents, with performance worthy of the R badge sitting alongside impressive frugality. The high-performance SUV has 462 PS and 700 Nm of torque available. This impressive output makes the Touareg R the most powerful production Volkswagen to date. Its 0 to 62 mph sprint time of 5.1 seconds accelerates the Touareg R into the territory of the brand’s other R models, and is within half a second of the Golf R’s 4.7-second figure. Like the aforementioned Volkswagen performance champion, the Touareg R’s top speed is limited to 155 mph (where permitted). A maximum of 70% of the car’s torque can be transferred to the front wheels, and up to 80% to the rear axle, via a centre differential lock with asymmetric torque distribution (Torsen) acting as a transfer box.

At the heart of the Touareg R is a sophisticated 3.0-litre V6 TSI eHybrid plug-in powertrain. Not only is it powerful, but it is also smooth and refined and, moreover, is frugal enough to make the R the most running-cost-friendly model in the Touareg range, with fuel economy and CO2 emissions of 94.2 mpg and 67 g/km (WLTP combined cycle) respectively. A 28-mile electric-only range accessible in the Touareg R’s E-MODE adds to the model’s low-CO2 credentials, with the 14.3 kWh (net) battery reducing running costs for this versatile performance SUV.

The Touareg R is not only a performance stand-out in the Volkswagen range, but is also comprehensively laden with features, with numerous innovations combining to represent considerable value against competitors, as well as an equipment list that marks the newcomer out as a technological tour-de-force.

The new R bolsters the already generous equipment offering provided by the standard Touareg range, and adds a number of extra luxuries as standard, with black ‘Puglia’ leather-upholstered, diamond-quilted ergoComfort seats finished with contrasting blue stitching and piping, and active climate (heating and ventilation) function for front occupants. The R also benefits from a unique heated leather sports steering wheel with R logo and DSG shift paddles, 30-colour interior ambient lighting, and a keyless locking and starting system. The interior is further stylised with illuminated, R-branded scuff plates, diamond-quilted leather panels in the door cards, and blue highlights on the carpet mats.

The standard equipment list builds upon that of the Touareg Black Edition, which means the Touareg R also features an air suspension system with automatic self-levelling function, height adjustment and electronic shock absorption control. A Park Assist package with 360-degree Area View camera adds to the convenience offered, while the intelligent IQ. Light LED matrix headlights – first introduced on the Touareg in 2018 but now offered on multiple models including the Golf – 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. Like the Black Edition, the Touareg R also counts a panoramic sunroof among its vast list of standard-fit equipment.

This luxurious specification also features items from across the generously-equipped Touareg range, with dynamic road sign display, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist as standard . Meanwhile, tinted glass, six interior USB ports (four front, two rear) and 4-zone electronic air conditioning are all included on R-Line models and above. The Touareg’s acclaimed Innovision Cockpit, which incorporates a 15-inch central infotainment screen and 12.3-inch Digital Cockpit display, is factory-fit from R-Line Tech models upwards.

In addition to all the aforementioned kit, the Touareg R, as part of the R stable of models, boasts exclusive styling with specifically designed front and rear bumpers, a gloss black rear diffuser, and 22-inch ‘Estoril’ diamond-turned wheels shod in 285/35 R22 tyres. R badging within the front grille, on the wings, and in the centre of the tailgate further designate the Touareg R as the performance-oriented flagship in the luxury SUV range, while darkened tail lights and a black grille, mirror caps and window trim add further visual impact. A mode 3, 32 A / 7.2 kW charging cable is also included to top up the battery from public charge points. Charging an empty battery in this way will take two and a half hours, while using a household three-pin socket will take eight and a half hours.

Options for those who wish to further bolster the equipment list of the Touareg R include the Driver Assistance Pack Plus, which in addition to Emergency Assist, Front Cross Traffic Assist, Predictive Pedestrian Protection, Side Scan and proactive occupant protection systems, brings Travel Assist – a camera and sensor-controlled system with the capacity to steer, brake and accelerate, providing Level 2 driving automation at speeds of up to 155 mph (where permitted). A Head-up Display can bring further innovation and convenience to the Touareg R’s technology-loaded interior, and a Night Vision system can also help drivers to see hazards in the dark that they might not have spotted with the naked eye. Those wishing to take advantage of the Tourareg R’s 3.5 tonne towing capacity can opt for a power-folding tow bar installed with the Trailer Assist system.

The Touareg R follows the introduction of the new Golf R in December and the Tiguan R in February, but precedes the Arteon R, details of which will be released in due course. The Touareg R follows the V10 diesel-engined R50 of 2008 in the model’s R history, and joins the T-Roc R and Tiguan R in the Volkswagen R SUV family of 2021.

Sarah Cox, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen UK, said: “The Touareg is yet another example of Volkswagen’s multi-talented range of SUVs. The model is practical, versatile, capable, comfortable and luxurious, and now it has a performance-oriented R variant that’s not only fast and fun to drive, but also capable of ultra-low emissions in everyday situations. In fact – as a latest-generation plug-in hybrid – its battery capacity allows enough electric-only range to cover the entire daily commute for many drivers.

“The Touareg R represents Volkswagen versatility at its finest – possessing numerous class-leading qualities, an incredible amount of standard equipment, and all the luxuries customers could wish for.”