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Frankfurt show: VW unveils all-new Tiguan

R baby: Sporty R-Line variant wears optional 20-inch rims and a comprehensive bodykit. Expect diesel power when it lobs late next year.

Four versions of VW’s new Tiguan compact SUV previewed ahead of 2016 launch

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Volkswagen logo15 Sep 2015

By TIM ROBSON

VOLKSWAGEN took the covers off its bigger-but-lighter new-generation Tiguan compact SUV on the eve of the Frankfurt motor show overnight, ahead of its launch in Europe early next year and an Australian arrival in the second half of 2016.

Four variants were unveiled to a capacity crowd at a large-scale event in an outer suburb of Frankfurt, including a traditional model, an off-road-specific version and a higher-performance R-Line flagship.

A production-oriented GTE plug-in concept was also revealed, with a 160kW petrol-electric hybrid system and a claimed 1000km range.

Presenting the crucial new model, which with its bigger dimensions and road presence is expected to improve its market share in Australia, VW board member Heinz-Jakob Neusser described it as “perfectly thought out from the first to the last millimetre”.

“Spacious and flexible, appealing to millions of car drivers and their families as an ideal companion for their everyday business and personal lives, it is a genuine all-round vehicle of a new era,” Dr Neusser said.

The second-generation Tiguan is built on a new SUV-specific version of VW’s ubiquitous MQB modular platform.

At 2681mm, its wheelbase is 77mm longer than the current model, while overall length of 4486mm stretches 60mm further from nose to tail.

The new model is also 30mm wider at 1839mm, while up to 50kg of weight has been shed, depending on the variant.

Cargo space has increased by 145 litres to 615 litres with the seats up, and 1645 litres with them folded flat. VW claims it has also lowered the boot sill height for easier loading.

No fewer than eight four-cylinder powertrains were announced, with four petrol and four diesel engines on the list. All engines are Euro 6-compliant, and range in power from 92kW to 162kW for the petrol, and 85kW to 176kW in the diesels.

All Tiguans will be fitted as standard with Emergency City braking and an active pedestrian safety bonnet, along with lane assist and emergency post-braking technology, while top-end cars will feature VW’s ACC active radar cruise control system.

A 12.3-inch infotainment screen forms the basis of the cabin architecture, while Apple and Android phone connectivity will also be fitted.

The current Australian line-up includes the entry-level two-wheel-drive 118TSI, while the 132TSI, 130TDI and range-topping 155TSI R-Line are all-wheel drive.

The new model will follow a similar specification path, with the two lowest-grade engines available in front-drive only. All other levels will have AWD as an option or a standard feature, depending on the grade.

To mimic the current line-up, a 2WD 110kW 1.4-litre petrol variant would act as the entry point, while a 132kW 2.0-litre petrol and 135kW turbo-diesel would make up the AWD mid-range.

The R-Line would likely feature the new EA288 high-performance 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel that produces 172kW.

The AWD system has also be comprehensively overhauled, with a new fifth-generation Haldex coupling underpinning the system. It has been improved with the addition of a system VW is calling 4Motion Active Control, which allows a driver the ability to access off-road functions (including a Snow mode) via a rotary dial.

The off-road version presented this week also features a different front bumper arrangement that increases the Tiguan’s approach angle to 25.6 degrees as opposed to the standard model’s 18.3.

VW’s familiar spec levels – Trendline, Highline and Comfortline – will be offered in the new Tiguan, along with a replacement for the current R-Line.

The GTE concept, meanwhile, was presented with a novel solar power array on the roof that VW claims can add 1000km a year of ‘free’ driving.

The GTE produces 160kW at the front wheels via a 1.4-litre TSI engine that kicks in 115kW, plus a small electric motor that resides between the petrol engine and the gearbox.

Australian Volkswagen officials made no comment on the possibility of a hybrid Tiguan joining the local stable, other than suggesting that current charging infrastructure would make it a challenge.

The Tiguan has been on sale in Australia since 2008, and was heavily refreshed in 2011. It currently competes in the small SUV category against newer rivals like the Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Qashqai, and has notched up 4639 sales so far in 2015.

More than 2.6 million Tiguans have been built worldwide since 2007.

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