Volkswagen Wants to Take on AMG and BMW M with a Hybrid 2021 Volkswagen Touareg R
M and AMG, get ready to meet R. Touareg Rby Tudor Rus, on
We’re back with more news from Volkswagenland and no, this time, they’re not related to the freshly-unveiled eight-generation Golf. In fact, they concern the Touareg. VW’s largest SUV in Europe is going to get a high-performance R version powered by a hybrid powertrain, as Volkswagen hopes to steal some thunder off the likes of Mercedes-AMG and BMW M.
Speaking to Autocar, Volkswagen’s sales and marketing chief Jurgen Stackmann revealed that the first R model to go plug-in hybrid will be the Touareg. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. The large SUV is one of the best-performing cars in Wolfsburg’s lineup and with Mercedes-AMG and BMW M churning out souped-up SUVs and crossovers faster than a machine gun can spit out all its rounds, Volkswagen is hungry for a piece of that pie too.
The same outlet reports that the hybridized Touareg will pave the way for “an electric future for R,” although “there is still a way to go before such a thing is viable.”
In the meantime, the hybrid Touareg R will have to do battle against the likes of BMW X5 M and Mercedes-AMG GLE 53, but to pull that off, it will have to pack at least 450 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque.
For the sake of comparison, the new BMW X5 M packs the same twin-turbocharged V-8 as the current-gen M5, making 591 horsepower and 554 pound-feet of torque (750 Newton-meters), enough to zap from 0 to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 3.9 seconds.Then there’s the X5 M Competition, which will churn out 617 horsepower and the same amount of torque. Back in Affalterbach, Mercedes-AMG is assembling the GLE 53 4Matic+ that comes with a 3.0-liter inline-six engine good for 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque, enough to grant a sprint time from 0 to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 5.3 seconds. A fully-blown Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 is also in the making, and we expect it to pack in the region of 600 horsepower.
Now, a hybrid setup developed specifically for the Touareg R would obviously solve a lot of potential problems.
The e-motor (or e-motors) can offer a considerable torque boost, helping the R-badged Touareg score sports car-like sprint times that are closer to its rivals’.
What’s more, a multi-motor hybrid setup also allows better torque management between the two axles and to each wheel, which in turn bumps up on-the-road composure and handling. Mind you, the Volkswagen Touareg is neither close to the ground nor lightweight, so VW’s engineers will have to work hard to shift its personality in the performance-oriented zone.
The good news is that VW is selling a hybrid Touareg in China, where the SUV packs 363 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque coming from a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine twinned to an electric motor that produces 134 horsepower. But as you can probably figure out, these specs are far from the level of performance needed to at least get the attention of BMW M and Mercedes-AMG. We’ll find out more about the upcoming VW Touareg R in the coming months, which means we’ll get back on the topic as soon as new info surfaces online.