The Touareg R Hybrid Will be the First Electrified R Model: Report

Talk of R SUVs and electrified Rs has dominated the high-performance VW conversation for a few years now, and the latest development suggests that the first step in that direction will be taken with the Touareg R plug-in hybrid.

The first R model that will get a plug-in hybrid will be Touareg, and the task is for Jost Capito [head of Volkswagen’s R performance division] and his team is delivering an electric future for R – we have to move it along,” Jurgen Stackmann, head of sales for VW, told the UK’s AutoExpress.

Unlike the GTI, VW has been quick to add the R monicker to more and more vehicles. The latest R, the T-Roc R, is the first crossover with a capital R for the brand, but the Touareg will take the first step toward a high-performance electric car for the brand, which is something Capito has suggested the company is interested in.

Unfortunately, the nature of the arrangement means that Americans aren’t likely to see a plug-in hybrid R car for a while. With no Touareg planned for our shores, we’ll just have to watch on.

For R purists, there is at least some consolation. According to Stackmann, the R brand won’t change drastically in the near term.

“For the near future, we will see R’s in the conventional form,” Stackmann said. “But as our mission is to become carbon neutral by 2050, the R division needs to get on the way also.”

No word yet on performance figures, but regular Touareg PHEV (which is sold in China) is capable of about 365 hp. Volkswagen may have to turn the wick up on that a little, though, since the V8 model can churn out around 415 hp.