In Europe, VW will offer the Tiguan with two front fascias: the standard fitment, and an “off road” version available with all trims that offers an improved approach angle. As with the last generation, an available R-Line appearance package trades in the black plastic body cladding for body-color accents, and brings 20-inch wheels to the Tiguan for the first time. 4MOTION all-wheel-drive, available either standard or as an option on all but the base model, defaults to front-wheel-drive until low-traction events engage the Haldex coupling and stability-control-based “electronic differential locks.” An Active Control dial offers four drive modes for various driving conditions.
The drivetrain choices for Continental buyers all revolve around turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder engines. Four are TSI gasoline units, and four others are TDI diesels. The most powerful gas engine puts out around 217 horsepower, while the gutsiest diesel, a twin-turbo 2.0-liter, cranks out nearly 240 ponies. VW says the new Tiguan can tow up to 5500 pounds.
Naturally, the new Tiguan brings with it a whole host of safety and convenience features. Front Assist with City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring, Lane Assist and Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, and Pre-Crash (which tensions the front seatbelts and closes the sunroof and any open windows when a crash is imminent) all promise a cocoon of safety. An optional radar-based adaptive cruise control can handle stop-and-go traffic, and Area View, a four-camera, 360-degree view, helps monitor your surroundings when you’re rock-crawling. Or trying not to hit a car in the IKEA parking lot.
VW also showed off a Tiguan GTE plug-in hybrid “concept.” Like the automaker’s other GTE offerings, this concept teams a 1.4-liter TSI gas engine with a transmission-mounted electric motor and a 13-kWh battery pack to produce a combined 215 horsepower. Unique to the Tiguan GTE is a full-length rooftop solar panel, which VW says can generate up to 621 miles of electric driving range annually. The automaker says that in electric-only mode, the Tiguan GTE could cover 31 miles and hit a top speed of 80 mph—although probably not on the same drive. Various drive modes allow motoring in all-electric, hybrid, battery charging, or GTE modes, the last of which uses the electric motor to “boost” the gas drivetrain for a 0-to-62-mph sprint in just 8.1 seconds.
While Volkswagen refers to the Tiguan GTE strictly as a concept, such a vehicle would fit right in with the many other GTE vehicles that the automaker has presented as both concepts and production vehicles. And while the production-ready Tiguans shown in Frankfurt aren’t exactly what we’ll see in the U.S., they give us a pretty good idea of what to expect. The new Tiguan goes on sale in Europe in April 2016; we should know more about our version by then.