The pumped-up Tiguan has been revealed ahead of its official debut at this week’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and it’s already garnering quite a lot of media buzz. Here’s what you need to know.
It’s Off-Road Ready
Volkswagen’s “extreme off-road” Tiguan boasts a plug-in hybrid system specially designed for tackling the rough stuff, which pairs a turbocharged 148-hp gas engine with two electric motors (front and rear). As is evident by the vehicle’s photos, it’s not just a Tiguan with electric 4MOTION all-wheel drive though.
The Volkswagen Tiguan GTE also stands tall atop 9.6 inches of ground clearance, improved approach and departure angles, and meaty BFGoodrich off-road tires, which provide a commanding presence. Skid plates adorn the vehicle’s underside from front to back, and the burly roof rack even integrates a duo of LED spotlights. Anyone feeling the wanderlust?
Pretty Sporty Too
As standard, the car zips around in rear wheel drive electric-only mode, but a click of the driving mode button or a stomp of the throttle will awaken the full hybrid drivetrain, which summons 221 horsepower. It’s sporty indeed. Zero to 60 mph happens in 6.4 seconds, served up via a six-speed dual clutch gearbox, and if you keep your foot planted you’ll eventually hit 120 mph.
Off-road capabilities and top speed aside, it’s also pretty frugal. Volkswagen says the concept achieves 20 miles of driving range in electric-only mode, and when running in hybrid mode it can achieve 580 miles of range before requiring a fill-up. In full hybrid mode, the Tiguan’s front motor acts as a generator for its battery packs, tucked in the rear above the axle.
Despite its rugged exterior, the Tiguan GTE features a rather highly refined interior, complete with two-tone Nappa leather upholstery. Its main attraction however is its new infotainment system, which features a 9.2-inch display and gesture control.
Could Be More Than “Concept”
Volkswagen points out that the GTE Active Concept is based on the second-generation Tiguan crossover, which will make landfall on U.S. shores as a 2017 model and ride atop VW’s newer MQB platform. That’s not nearly enough to say that an off-roady GTE version will be in the pipeline, but considering the popularity of the U.S. crossover market and off-road models like Jeep’s Trailhawks and the new Land Rover Discovery…it’s viability does look promising.