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New Volkswagen Touareg R plug-in hybrid starts at £71,995

2021 Volkswagen Touareg R shares 456bhp powertrain with Bentley Bentayga Hybrid

  • Volkswagen’s flagship SUV to get fast R version
  • Expected to manage up to 28 miles on electric power
  • On sale now starting from £71,995

Full specifications for the new 2021 Volkswagen Touareg R plug-in hybrid have been revealed. The car is available to order now with a starting price of £71,995.

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Despite wearing VW’s R performance badge, the new flagship model will be a direct rival to luxury PHEV SUVs including the BMW xDrive45e, Range Rover Sport PHEV and Audi Q7 TFSI e.

Engine, performance and chassis

The Touareg R is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine, a 134bhp electric motor and a 14.1kWh battery. It’s the same 456bhp powertrain used in the Bentley Bentayga Hybrid and it makes the Touareg R similarly capable, with 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds and a limited top speed of 155mph.

The Touareg R gets 4MOTION four-wheel drive and automatic self-levelling air suspension as standard. It also has a central locking differential that acts as a transfer box, capable of distributing up to 70% of power to the front wheels and up to 80% to the rear wheels.

Range, economy and charging

The plug-in hybrid Touareg officially emits just 67g/km of CO2. Claimed fuel economy is up to 94.2mpg, a slight improvement over the Bentayga with the same powertrain, which manages 80.7mpg.

You can drive at up to 87mph on electric power alone and the Touareg R has an electric-only range of 28 miles. When the battery is sufficiently charged, the car will always start in the electric ‘E-MODE’ setting.

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When using the 7.2kW mode 3 charging cable, a full battery top up at a public or home charger takes around 2.5 hours, which increases to 8.5 hours when using a three-pin plug socket.

Design, interior and practicality

Like other VW R models, the Touareg R gets exclusive Lapiz Blue metallic paint and unique alloy wheels, which are 20 inches as standard or 22-inch as an option. The range-topping version of the Volkswagen Touareg SUV also showcases the company’s latest R badge design and gets the black exterior pack, a panoramic sunroof and LED Matrix headlights as standard.

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Inside, the front comfort seats have heating and ventilation with black leather upholstery featuring a diamond-quilted pattern and blue detailing. An R-logoed heated leather-trimmed steering wheel also features, along with DSG gear shift paddles and ambient interior lighting.

The Touareg R’s interior tech includes a 12.3-inch digital dial cluster, a 15-inch infotainment touchscreen and four-zone air conditioning. Standard safety kit includes adaptive cruise control, lane assist and road sign display. Buyers can also spec the optional Driver Assistance Pack Plus, which adds features such as front cross traffic assist and level 2 automated driving assistance.

Practically is slightly hindered over the standard car as the battery for the hybrid system reduces boot space by 200 litres but the Touareg R still gets a huge 610-litre luggage compartment. It retains its impressive 3.5-tonne towing capacity.

What does it mean for car buyers?

A big, powerful, heavy SUV like the Touareg R clearly won’t be attainable for the majority of buyers, but it could preview the more widespread adoption of plug-in hybrid technology from VW’s hot R sub-brand. The Volkswagen group is already embracing electrification for its upcoming hot hatchbacks, including the Volkswagen Golf GTE, Skoda Octavia vRS and Cupra Leon.

Read our review of the Volkswagen Touareg, or see where it places on our list of the best large SUVs.

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