Volkswagen has taken the wraps off its new Touareg R, a plug-in hybrid SUV developed by the German firm’s in-house performance brand.

The newcomer is the first Volkswagen R model to feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain, representing what the automaker calls a “paradigm shift”.

The Touareg R generates total system outputs of 340 kW (40 kW more than the Touareg V8 TDI offered in some markets) and 700 N.m, facilitating what VW describes as “superlative performance and electric efficiency”. Top speed is electronically pegged at 250 km/h, while VW has yet to released a claimed 0-100 km/h sprint time.

The turbocharged 3,0-litre V6 offers 250 kW while the electric motor adds 100 kW. A lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 14,1 kWh is built into the luggage compartment underbody, while an eight-speed automatic transmission and a transfer box transmit power to the front and rear axles.

When started, the Touareg R uses only its electric motor if the battery is sufficiently charged. In this all-electric mode, the SUV can be driven at speeds up to 140 km/h (as yet, no all-electric range claim has been made). The Wolfsburg-based company says the Touareg R has been homologated for a maximum trailer weight of 3,5 tonnes.

The R-Line specification package and Black Style exterior design kit ship standard, along with 20-inch Braga alloy wheels (items measuring up to 22 inches in diameter will be optionally available).

Volkswagen South Africa told CARmag.co.za the new Touareg R, which from what we can gather is seemingly targeted at European markets, is not on the cards for a local introduction.