Volkswagen is set to add a range-topping new premium model to its flagship Touareg line – the VW Touareg R. The versatile model’s 340 kW (462 PS) plug-in hybrid drive offers an innovative blend of superlative performance and electric efficiency. When the battery is sufficiently charged, the new SUV always starts in the all-electric E-MODE for zero emissions. The battery capacity is designed so that the Touareg R can cover the average daily commute under electric power. Like all Touareg models, the new R version comes with permanent all-wheel drive (4MOTION) as standard. 4MOTION and the powerful drive system (700 Nm of torque) means 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. As the first plug-in hybrid SUV in the world, the Touareg can also be fitted with the trailer manoeuvring system Trailer Assist. And yet another first: the Touareg will be available with Travel Assist for the first time. The premium model will be the first Volkswagen to boast assisted driving (automatic longitudinal and lateral guidance) up to a speed of 250 km/h.
First R model with plug-in hybrid
The new flagship model was designed by the Volkswagen R performance brand, which traditionally develops the sportiest models in the Volkswagen range. The VW Touareg R represents a paradigm shift – it is the first Volkswagen R model to feature a plug-in hybrid drive. It is also the first time a hybrid model has been the most highly-powered Volkswagen. The extremely well appointed Touareg R, which features the Black Style exterior design package along with 20-inch alloy wheels (Braga) and R-Line interior trim (including Vienna leather with crystal grey stitching), is set to enter the market in the second half of 2020.
Intelligent electric performance
The Touareg R is the third plug-in hybrid model in Volkswagen’s European product line, following in the wheel-tracks of the Golf and Passat. The Volkswagen 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. Jost Capito, managing director of the Group’s in-house performance brand, explains: “We are currently vigorously expanding the Volkswagen R range. Following the compact CUV 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 unrivalled charisma.” The Volkswagen Touareg R is synonymous with a new and intelligent level of electric performance in segment of large touring SUVs.
Authentic, avant-garde, practical
Volkswagen R is responsible for the visual and technical configuration, and with it the conceptual direction of the new model. 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. All current Touareg models feature a dynamic and elegant design, maximum safety and long-distance comfort, state-of-the-art connectivity and a largely digitalised cockpit. The overall concept is also designed with a high level of everyday usability in mind. Some 60% of all Touareg owners in Germany and 40% in Europe also use their SUV as a towing vehicle – remarkably high figures. The Touareg is often driven by sporty, active people who value the utmost safety, outstanding driving comfort, intuitive control and cutting-edge connectivity. The new Touareg R has been designed specifically for this extremely tech-savvy customer group. For the first time, they now have a performance model that can be driven temporarily in all-electric mode with zero local emissions. The new Touareg complies with the Euro 6d-TEMP-EVAP-ISC emission standard.
Extended powertrain range
The SUV product line is currently available with one turbocharged petrol engine (TSI) 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). Volkswagen is adding a range-topping model in the form of the new Volkswagen Touareg R.
Top R dynamic performance
As a typical Volkswagen R model, the Touareg R provides ultra-dynamic performance. Like at the touch of a button, the driver just has to press the accelerator to access the full output of the electric motor (100 kW/136 PS) and the turbocharged V6 petrol engine (250 kW/340 PS) as required. The two drive systems can then be combined in a boost function to use the vehicle’s dynamic reserves – for instance to overtake another vehicle quickly and safely – and to exploit the full system power of 340 kW (462 PS). The maximum system torque is 700 Nm.
All-wheel drive hybrid
The hybrid drive of the Touareg R essentially consists of a 2,995 cm3 V6 turbocharged petrol engine, the 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 centre 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.
All-electric drive up to 140 km/h
When first started, the Volkswagen 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 VW Touareg R can be driven in all-electric mode at a speed of up to 140 km/h; above this, the V6 TSI is activated automatically – or at any time using kickdown. The maximum speed of the SUV is electronically regulated at 250 km/h.
Fast changeover between E-MODE and Hybrid mode
The driver can control the hybrid functions and select the driving profile using the Menu button on the 4MOTION Active Control in the centre 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 optimised 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.
Managing the battery in Hybrid 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 intuitively read the respective charge level, which is indicated by the corresponding number of light blue battery segments (0 to 100%). For instance, four light blue segments appear if the charge level is 40%. 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 (up arrow “↑”) or reducing it to a defined level (down arrow “↓”). For instance, if the driver selects “↑” and increases the display to 80% (eight segments), the V6 TSI and brake energy recuperation charge the battery to the level set on the scale. However, if the driver selects “↓” and only marks two segments, the energy can be used up to the set minimum level of 20%. 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.
Quick driving profile changeover
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 centre 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 Volkswagen 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.
Hybrid displays in the Innovision Cockpit
The Innovision Cockpit comes as standard in the Touareg R. It consists of the digital instruments (Digital Cockpit, 12-inch screen) and the Infotainment system screen (Discover Premium, 15-inch TFT touchscreen). The driver can access specific information about the Touareg R and the hybrid functions using the energy flow displays in the Infotainment system (showing the battery’s energy reserve, the energy supply to the drive system, and battery charging) and the electric range monitor (showing the electric range, driving profile and the potential to increase the range by deactivating electrical consumers). The combined power meter and rev counter on the left-hand side of the Digital Cockpit shows the current status of the hybrid system. It displays the consumption (under acceleration) or feed-in (under deceleration) of electrical energy, along with the hybrid mode. The remaining electric range and the fuel range are also shown.
The only SUV plug-in hybrid with Trailer Assist
The new Touareg R is the world’s only SUV plug-in hybrid model with optional trailer manoeuvring system Trailer Assist. The SUV uses Trailer Assist to manoeuvre a trailer backwards into a parking space or gateway almost automatically. In E-MODE, this process is also silent. To manoeuvre the Volkswagen Touareg R and trailer in reverse, the driver stops behind the parking bay for the trailer and shifts into reverse gear. The system is activated by pressing the “Park Assist” button. The exterior mirror adjustment switch then appears on the display. The driver is instructed how to set the desired steering angle using the mirror switch, which acts as a joystick. As soon as he moves the switch, a symbol with trailer appears on the display. Here the current articulation angle and the articulation angle of the trailer newly set by the driver is displayed. With the aid of the external mirror switch, the driver sets the desired direction of travel of his car and trailer. “Trailer Assist” takes over the specified steering angle. The car and trailer are automatically aligned using the Park Assist control unit in conjunction with the electromechanical steering. In the first manoeuvring phase, the driver selects the articulation angle (up to 75°) to turn in reverse in a certain direction or to drive on a curve. If the trailer is then facing straight in the direction of the target position, the driver finally simply pulls back the mirror adjustment switch. The car and trailer now drive precisely in reverse in the trailer direction without having to still make manual corrections.
Travel Assist up to 250 km/h
One of the new features in the Touareg is the optionally available Travel Assist. Until now, this system has made assisted driving possible up to a speed of 210 km/h. But for the first time, on German motorways this assistance is available up to a speed of 250 km/h. Travel Assist relies on systems including ACC Adaptive Cruise Control (longitudinal guidance) and Lane Assist lane keeping system (lateral guidance). Travel Assist is activated using the new multifunction steering wheel. For legal and safety-relevant reasons, drivers must permanently monitor the system – meaning they must have at least one hand on the steering wheel. Thanks to new capacitive sensor technology in the Touareg’s steering wheel, drivers need merely to touch it.
Enhanced standard equipment
The new top model in the product line and brand comes to market with an enhanced and customised range of standard equipment. The otherwise optional R-Line specification package and the Black Style exterior design package, which is also available for other models at extra cost, form the basic matrix of the standard configuration.
R exterior equipment
The exterior package includes R-style bumpers, body-colour bumpers and lower door sections, air intake grilles with black louvres, black trim strips on the side windows and black exterior mirror housings. One especially elegant feature is the radiator grille with black trim strips. In the case of the Touareg R, the package also includes a black trim strip on the lower part of the front bumper, the R logo (in the radiator grille, on the boot lid and on the signets on the front wings and doors) and darkened LED tail light clusters. The 20-inch Braga alloy wheels (black on the inside and burnished on the outside; alternatively in matt grey on the inside and burnished on the outside), body-colour wheel housing extensions and trapezoidal design tailpipes all come as standard.
R interior equipment
In the interior, the R equipment package consists of the following features – decorative trim on the dash panel and door inserts in Silver Wave aluminium, centre console trim in High Gloss Black and Silver Look, Vienna leather for the comfort seats with leather R logo in the head restraints, stainless steel load sill protection, new leather multifunction steering wheel generation (heated, with paddles, R logo, and button for optional Travel Assist), illuminated stainless steel sill panel trim with R logo, brushed stainless steel pedals and white background lighting. The stitching on the leather seats is finished in Crystal Grey, as are the edging strips on the textile floor mats and the decorative seams on the armrests, selector lever and door trim.
Enhanced functional equipment
The Volkswagen Touareg R will enter the market with an enhanced range of functional equipment in addition to that found in the classic Touareg models. Standard features on board include the Innovision Cockpit with the Digital Cockpit (12-inch digital instruments) and the Discover Premium Infotainment system (15-inch TFT touchscreen), the IQ.Light LED matrix headlights (interactive camera control of dipped and main beam headlights), a tilting and sliding panoramic sunroof and a 4-zone automatic air conditioner (Air Care Climatronic).
Exclusive R options
Within the product line, the traditional Volkswagen R colour Lapiz Blue Metallic (optional) is reserved exclusively for the VW Touareg R. Additional optional equipment for the new range-topping model include the 21-inch Suzuka wheel rim (burnished or black finish) and the 22-inch Estoril wheel (black and burnished black), available for the first time. Volkswagen R also developed the black Puglia leather interior package exclusively for the Touareg. This natural leather is tanned sustainably using olive oil. One particular visual highlight is the sophisticated yet sporty diamond-shaped stitching on the leather seats, which is also replicated in the door trim. The Puglia leather package also includes Sepang Blue piping in the seat cushion bolsters. The piping ties in with a thin blue decorative seam that stretches the entire width of the dash panel. The head restraints also carry the R logo.
Optional high-tech features
The additional highlights that are available as optional equipment in the Touareg include a 780-watt Dynaudio sound system, Night Vision (detects people and animals in the dark using a thermal imaging camera), Travel Assist for the first time (as described, partly automated steering and lane departure warning, acceleration and braking, up to 250 km/h) and Front Cross Traffic Assist (responds to crossing traffic in front of the Touareg). All Touareg models also feature Dynamic Road Sign Display and the lane keeping system Lane Assist as standard. Thanks to a central control unit, the driver experiences all assist systems and integrated technologies such as the IQ.Light LED matrix headlights as a homogeneous unit. The systems are continuously active as electronic assistants to provide unobtrusive support in the background, making travel safer, more comfortable and more intuitive than ever before.