The electrified Volkswagen Touareg R range-topper has copped another delay.

    The brand had confirmed in 2021 that its flagship plug-in hybrid – and its largest and priciest R model – was set to launch here in 2022, but it has subsequently been delayed.

    “We are awaiting sufficient production slots at the moment, so it is 2023 – exact timing TBC,” said a spokesperson for Volkswagen Australia.

    “We may end up waiting for the updated version, as it would make more sense rather than await a smaller number of pre-update models.”

    Prototypes of the updated Touareg have been spied testing, though visual changes appear limited to elements like the lights and grille.

    Inside, changes could include updates for the 15-inch touchscreen infotainment system and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

    While the VW spokesperson says a 2023 Touareg R launch remains the plan, there is likely a chance this updated model may not make it to Australia until 2024.

    Volkswagen has confirmed it will be the only plug-in hybrid it will launch over the next 18 months, with PHEV versions of the Golf and Tiguan not set to come here until the second half of 2024 at the earliest.

    Volkswagen Australia secured more than 1000 diesel Touaregs for the second half of 2022, having “negotiated a prioritisation of Touareg volume”. It says supply of the large SUV will be strong in 2023.

    The current, third-generation Touareg was revealed in 2018, with the plug-in hybrid R flagship revealed in 2020.

    The Touareg R uses a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine with 250kW of power and 400Nm of torque, combined with a 100kW/400Nm electric motor, an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive.

    Total system outputs are 340kW and 700Nm, with a 0-100km/h time of 5.1 seconds and a top speed in electric mode of 135km/h.

    Volkswagen claims an electric-only range of 47km on the WLTP cycle, as well as combined-cycle fuel economy of 2.7L/100km and energy consumption of 24.4kWh/100km.

    It also maintains a 3500kg braked towing capacity.

    The 14.3kWh lithium-ion battery pack can be charged in 2.5 hours using a 7.2kW home wall box.

    It’s unclear what the Touareg R will be priced at, though the range currently tops out at $116,290 before on-road costs for the 210TDI R-Line. Expect a price tag north of that figure.

    Other large plug-in hybrid SUVs in Australia include the BMW X5 xDrive45e ($138,400 before on-roads), Volvo XC90 Recharge ($121,990 list), and Range Rover Sport Dynamic HSE P510e ($198,097 list).

    Porsche also offers E-Hybrid and Turbo S E-Hybrid PHEV versions of its Cayenne, a cousin to the Touareg, with prices ranging from $152,500 to $312,700 before on-roads.

    When it arrives, the Touareg R will join the Golf R, Tiguan R, and T-Roc R in the Volkswagen Australia stable.

    It’s meant to serve as a halo car for Volkswagen, taking on the aforementioned X5 and Q7 in the process. It shares its platform with the latter, though like all Touaregs it has only two rows of seating.

    It’ll be the brand’s first plug-in hybrid in Australia, though it won’t be the first PHEV from the wider Volkswagen Group.

    Audi previously sold the A3 e-tron PHEV here, while more recently Cupra has arrived in Australia with a line-up that includes VZe-badged PHEV versions of its Leon and Formentor.

    MORE: Everything Volkswagen Touareg

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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