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R you ready for take-off The new Volkswagen Touareg R plug-in hybrid is an absolute beast of a machine


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The Volkswagen Touareg R Hybrid is lightening quick

The Volkswagen Touareg R Hybrid is lightening quick

The Touareg interior is fantastic

The Touareg interior is fantastic

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The Volkswagen Touareg R Hybrid is lightening quick

Volkswagen - Touareg R hybrid

I have to admit, I still get excited every Monday morning at the thoughts of getting behind the wheel of a new car. I am the envy of most of my friends, most of whom are big petrol heads and sometimes I forget how lucky I am to drive cars that I could only dream of owning.

I have a routine where I check my diary every Friday morning to see what I am picking up after the weekend and plan my week ahead.

A few weeks back though, I was really caught on the hop when I went to collect my new wheels. In my diary I had ­pencilled in the new Volkswagen Touareg, which had already tickled my feathers.

However, upon my arrival at the pick-up point I was greeted with this enormous beast of an SUV sporting a proper 'R' badge. What a surprise.

No it wasn't the 'R-Line' model that I thought I was jumping into, it was the proper souped-up muscle machine albeit in plug-in hybrid form.

The first thing that struck me was this is supposed to be a family-orientated giant SUV that oozes space and practicality.

But no, I was wrong. This was definitely NOT built with practicality in mind, unless your entire family enjoy Sunday outings on a Formula 1 track.

Having said that, The new Volkswagen Touareg R plug-in hybrid is an absolute beast of a machine. It is now the flagship model in the VW group and it comes at a price too. But I will get into that a little later on.

The Volkswagen Touareg was never the cheapest model to buy in the first place, with prices starting just north of €93k for the Elegance model.

Still though, it remains a really popular monster SUV in Ireland where I see them on the road on a daily basis, ferrying large families around.

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The Touareg interior is fantastic

The Touareg interior is fantastic

The Touareg interior is fantastic

In fact, a good number of them have been registered already this year, which kind of surprises me now that many families are downsizing. On the outside, the new Volkswagen Touareg is both beauty and a beast.

My test car was fitted with ­(optional) 22-inch rims, ­Matrix LED headlights and brake callipers that would stop a John Deere tractor on a two-cent coin. Inside, the big VW came with an enormous, cinema-like 15-inch touch screen that was simple and easy to use.

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Under the hood, this R plug-in hybrid is fitted with a 3.0-litre V6 turbocharged petrol engine, 100kW electric motor and 17.9kWh lithium-ion battery.

Volkswagen claim that you can drive up to 47km on full electric charge but it was more like 35km in realistic figures.

Still though, when you consider the Elegance diesel model costs the €93K we mention earlier, there is not much change between the proper R plug-in hybrid which starts at €95,630.

I know which one I would be going for if I had the money. I'm off to do the Lotto.

Robbie Farrell

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