Volkswagen chose Detroit (America is still the world’s most important SUV market) to unveil its Tiguan GTE Active concept, a five-seat car that shows off the company’s SUV credentials alongside its latest progress in plug-in hybrid engine technology as well as new developments in connectivity.
The concept is a reworking of the all-new second-generation Tiguan, but VW describes it as ‘a forbearer of an entirely new generator of SUVs’, with a TSI petrol engine and two electric motors providing the powertrain for all four driven wheels.
VW wants to show how much potential plug-in hybrid systems have, with the motors alone capable of driving all four wheels for up to 20 miles, giving the concept a quoted 75mpg and a total range of 580 miles.
The concept also showcases VW’s gesture-controlled infotainment system. We saw BMW unveil its latest gesture-control technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week; expect more systems to be unveiled over the year. VW’s is mated to a large, new 9.2in high-resolution screen. App Connect enables drivers to use Mirror Link, Android Auto or CarPlay systems, depending whether they use Google or Apple products.
In America, the Tiguan will be offered with a longer wheelbase and seven seats next year, while the concept marks a general global VW ‘SUV product offensive’.