THE most powerful Volkswagen you can buy will be a big all-wheel drive SUV with petrol and battery power - and the ability to tow up to 3.5 tonnes on electricity alone.
On sale in the second half of 2020, the VW Touareg R will produce a combined 456bhp from its 3.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine and electric motor combination.
VW is not giving exact performance figures just yet - top speed is electronically limited to 155mph - but says this plug-in hybrid will manage 'typical commuter distances with zero emissions,' without saying yet precisely how far that might be.
The new flagship model was designed by the Volkswagen R performance brand, which traditionally develops the sportiest models in the Volkswagen range.
The Touareg R 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 powerful 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.
When first started, the 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 Touareg R can be driven in all-electric mode at up to 87mph; above this the V6 petrol engine is activated automatically - or at any time using kickdown.
Optional equipment for this range topping Touareg includes a 780-watt Dynaudio sound system, night vision that detects people and animals in the dark using a thermal imaging camera, travel assist that brings partly automated steering and lane departure warning, acceleration and braking and front cross traffic assist that responds to crossing traffic in front of the car.