Are you an R or a PHEV person? Either will now do if it is the Volkswagen Tiguan, Europe’s most popular SUV, you fancy. Whether R for racing or PHEV for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, the Tiguan can now tick both boxes after a mid-life refresh.
The popular Tiguan – it outsells the Golf – first came out in 2007 and, somewhat surprisingly, has never had an R version before. The sportiest model is expected to get VW’s familiar 320PS 2.0-litre turbo engine mated to a dual clutch DSG ‘box and clever all-wheel-drive, complete with torque vectoring and lowered sports suspension.
It’s a familiar recipe from other VW R models, but VW is resisting tempting us further with performance figures. It does however say the latest all-wheel-drive system with R-spec vectoring of torque between left and right wheels gives the Tiguan a dynamic boost. It will need that to compete with rival crossovers as they become increasingly performance orientated.
The Tiguan eHybrid also gets a boost – from an electric motor which can drive the car in zero emissions mode at speeds up to 80mph. Again, VW is being coy with numbers – surprising in view of fact the new models are due in showrooms in the autumn – but expected powertrain is 1.4-litre petrol engine plus the electric motor for a total of 245PS. In the most efficient of its many driving modes, the hybrid Tiguan should be good for a pure electric range of 30 miles – but rather less than that if you drive at 80mph…
The mid-life refresh for all Tiguans, including clean new “twin dose” diesel-engined versions, is marked out by a nose and tail restyle – bigger vents, more chrome, more family look grille – and a cabin upgrade. This brings to the Tiguan VW’s latest infotainment systems with all digital controls and more connectivity for online-based services and functions. Take a look at Golf Mk8, in showrooms now, to get an idea of what the new Tiguan dashboard will be like.
Other upgrades to look out for include new steering wheel with touch controls, digitised touch sliders for climate control, LED matrix headlights and optional 480-watt Harman Kardon sound system.