DETROIT — The Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept made its world debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show on Monday, Jan. 11. The plug-in hybrid vehicle has a total range of 580 miles with the first 20 miles being in all-electric mode.
“It’s an off-roady version of the Tiguan,” said Mark Gilles, Manager, Product and Technology Communications at Volkswagen of America. “The other key thing is the infotainment system previews what we’re going to get in the future. We have a 9.2-inch touch screen with gesture control. We think you can combine the power and torque of dual-electric motor with a gas engine and get the fuel economy of a regular hybrid, but the sportiness of the two systems combined.”
The Tiguan GTE Active Concept features two electric motors and a gasoline engine to power all four wheels. It has a battery capacity of 12.4 kWh and a 16.9-gallon fuel tank. In electric mode, the concept SUV has a top speed of 70 mph. The driver select one of six driving programs: On road (Comfort or Eco); Offroad (Rocks, Sludge & Sand, or Gravel); Sport; Snow; Charge (battery is charged while driving); and Battery Hold (maintains a constant battery charge).
“The system is actually in production already with the Golf in Europe,” Gilles explained. “It’s going to be produced in the North American market in long wheelbase form sometime in the middle of next year. The GTE hybrid system will be available at some point in the distant future for Europe. We’ll bring in plug-in hybrids across most of our models. It will be very competitive when it goes on sale here.”
The plug-in concept vehicle we saw at the auto show had an exterior color of Dragon Red Metallic. Additional features of this new SUV are four aluminum-colored metal hooks (two in the front and two in the rear), two LED auxiliary spotlights on the roof and heated seats on the interior. It also comes with the latest technology such as a 9.2-inch high-resolution touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The good news is that the Tiguan has already been greenlit for production in Europe. By 2017, a new Tiguan SUV will be coming to America.