VOLKSWAGEN’S new Touareg R is the first fully-fledged production R model to be launched with an electrified powertrain.

Capable of both impressive performance as well as ultra-low emissions, the Touareg R features a petrol plug-in hybrid system producing 462 PS and boasts a multitude of talents, with performance worthy of the R badge sitting alongside impressive frugality.

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).

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 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.

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.

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.

The model, which starts at £71,995 on-the-road, is available to order now for UK customers.