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Volkswagen locks in Touareg R PHEV for Australia

Hi-po Touareg R large SUV headed Down Under as first local Volkswagen plug-in hybrid

10 Sep 2021

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia (VGA) has this week confirmed its local R line-up will be expanding to five models by the end of next year with the introduction of the Touareg R – its first plug-in hybrid (PHEV) for this market.


Not due here until late in 2022, the Touareg R will ride on the coattails of the new-generation Golf R, Golf R Wagon, Tiguan R and smaller T-Roc R in padding out the number of dedicated performance model here.


Under the bonnet resides a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 diesel plug-in hybrid (PHEV) driveline developing a combined 340kW/700Nm, put to the road via VW’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system and an eight-speed automatic transmission.


The result is a 0-100km/h time of 5.1 seconds, while the 14.3kWh lithium-ion battery mounted beneath the boot floor can deliver up to 47km of all-electric driving at speeds of up to 135km/h.


Horsey types and the caravanning-inclined will be buoyed to read the R retains the same 3500kg maximum braked towing capacity as the rest of the Touareg range.


VGA passenger vehicle marketing general manager Ralph Beckmann said the Touareg R was not initially destined for Australia because the brand’s PHEVs and EVs are not usually prioritised for markets with no emissions targets.


“The Aussie appetite for the biggest and best Volkswagens combined with the overdue recognition on the part of government that Australians deserve the best quality petrol, and the progressive policies of NSW, all helped make the business case,” he said.


“We can’t at this point say that the Touareg R indicates that more affordable Volkswagen hybrids are coming to Australia, especially during a period of production issues related to the global semiconductor shortage.


“We can say that despite formidable obstacles, we're doing all that can be done to secure for Australian customers the same choices enjoyed by those elsewhere in the world.”


Much like with Mercedes-AMG, BMW M and Hyundai N, the Australian market is an important one to Volkswagen’s performance arm, Mr Beckmann revealing this country to have “typically been the third-biggest R market” behind Germany and the UK.


“This has been achieved solely with the Golf R and, to much lesser extent, its Wagon variant,” he said.


“Having two R SUVs – Tiguan and Touareg – and an R crossover in the T-Roc in addition to the greatly enhanced Mark 8 Golf Rs, will give Volkswagen a performance portfolio unapproached by its market rivals.”


VGA has sold 1015 Touaregs so far this year ending August 31, accounting for 6.7 per cent of the $70,000-plus large SUV segment.

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