A diesel V8 could be replaced by a plug-in hybrid petrol V6 at the top of the Volkswagen Touareg range in Australia.

    Volkswagen Group Australia has confirmed the Touareg V8 TDI, in both R-Line and Wolfsburg trims, has sold out.

    The company is in discussions with its head office to bring the Touareg R here as a new flagship for the range.

    It hasn’t been officially locked in, which means we don’t have any official launch timing.

    CarExpert understands that, should it be confirmed for Australia, the earliest we could expect to see it here would be the end of 2022.

    The Touareg R was previously ruled out due to Australia’s status as what Volkswagen calls an “automotive third world” market, given our lack of federal emissions standards and our poor quality fuel.

    Since ruling it out at the R’s reveal in 2019, Volkswagen has said another disincentive for bringing PHEVs and EVs here has emerged in the form of the patchwork nature of our states’ approaches to electrification.

    In Victoria, for example, owners of PHEVs now pay both a road usage charge and the fuel excise.

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

    Total system outputs are 340kW and 700Nm.

    Though it’s down 200Nm on the V8 diesel, its 0-100km/h time is only slightly slower at 5.1 seconds. It can also run on pure electric power for up to 47km on the stricter WLTP test cycle.

    In contrast, the Touareg V8 TDI used a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 diesel engine with 310kW of power and 900Nm of torque, hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

    This was a variation of the V8 diesel engine used in the Bentley Bentayga, albeit without the 48V electrically-driven turbo designed to cut low-down lag.

    The V8 TDI did the 0-100km/h sprint in 4.9 seconds.

    The Touareg’s V8 option has already been farewelled globally, with production wrapping up with a Final Edition model for European buyers in 2020.

    That makes it the last V8-powered vehicle from the Volkswagen brand.

    Volkswagen brought 100 examples of the V8 TDI Wolfsburg to Australia in 2020, along with 200 examples of the V8 TDI R-Line.

    Should the Touareg R come here as a replacement for the V8 TDI, it could be the first Volkswagen-badged plug-in hybrid to make the trip.

    It won’t be the first Volkswagen Group PHEV to come here, though. Plug-in eHybrid variants of the Cupra Leon and Formentor will arrive in 2022 as part of the Cupra brand’s Australian debut.

    While we may be waiting a while for the Touareg R, the Volkswagen brand’s stable of R vehicles is set to grow in 2022.

    The redesigned Golf R hatchback and wagon will be joined for the first time in Australia by R versions of the Tiguan and T-Roc crossovers.

    MORE: Volkswagen Touareg news, reviews, comparisons and videos

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    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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