More often than not, high-powered performance models are not the cleanest or greenest cars to drive around in. However, Volkswagen's new 462 horsepower Touareg R might just be able to do a bit of both.
Based on the Touareg SUV, the German automaker has given the big SUV the R treatment. Don't be confused though, it's not simply an R-Line styling variant. Instead, the new Touareg R is the new range-topping variant of the flagship SUV. Interestingly, it is also the most powerful Volkswagen available today.
Unlike other R models that came before it, the Touareg is the first one to be fitted with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Under the hood, the SUV is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged gasoline V6 which produces 340 horsepower which is paired with a 136 horsepower electric motor. Combined, it has a total output of 462 horsepower and 700 Nm of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission then sends power to all four wheels.
At the moment, Volkswagen did not provide an estimated all-electric driving range just yet. However, they do say it uses a 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. They also claim that the Touareg R always starts in 'E-mode' as long as the battery is charged. It can continue to run in all-electric mode up to a top speed of 140 km/h. Anything beyond 140 km/h and the V6 engine will automatically kick-in. The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. Unfortunately, no performance figures and acceleration times were provided.
Styling-wise, the Touareg R comes with exclusive R-style bumpers, larger air intakes with black louvers and black exterior trim all around. However, the trapezoidal exhaust and body-color overfenders are probably the biggest giveaway of it being an R model. Darkened LED taillight clusters and R logos all around further distinguish it from a standard Touareg. Completing the exterior makeover are 20-inch wheels that come standard but are upgradeable to larger 21- or 22-inch units.
Inside, a 12-inch screen in front of the driver acts as the gauge cluster, and provides the driver with various vehicle information. A large 15-inch screen sits in the center console acts as infotainment. The display can be changed to suit your tastes. R logos and badges are also found all around.
There's no price for the Volkswagen Touareg R just yet. One thing for certain is that this model won't be offered locally unfortunately, but we can still dream.