Launched in 2016, Volkswagen’s most popular model – the Tiguan SUV – has been updated and refreshed for 2020. The new model, launched today, is electrifed, digitalised and networked. It gets a new plug-in hybrid drive but the big news is that the SUV line will now also include a Tiguan R variant for the very first time.
At this time, full technical data on the Tiguan R is limited. But it is known that under the bonnet will be a turbocharged 2-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine tuned to deliver about 318 ps/420Nm. The power will flow through a 7-speed DSG and a new all-wheel drive with selective wheel torque control for this new high-performance variant.
It also has R-Performance Torque Vectoring which is said to enable totally new SUV driving dynamics by distributing the drive power variably between the front and rear axles as well as the left and right rear wheels.
New face with visual links
Design-wise, the Tiguan gets a new ‘face’, with the radiator grille having visual links to the larger Touareg and US-market Atlas Cross Sport. The bonnet is more concise in its appearance and the new radiator grille with LED headlights is wider, with the new Volkswagen badge positioned centrally at the front.
The bumpers have also undergone a makeover. At the rear, the Tiguan lettering is now in a prominent central position below the VW badge. As would be expected, the Tiguan R is 10 mm lower than other Tiguans, with 21-inch Estoril wheels at each corner.
Inside the new Tiguan
The new steering wheel generation features touch controls and the interior designers have also digitalised the climate control functions by means of touch sliders and touch buttons. Also coming in the new Tiguan is a third-generation modular infotainment matrix (MIB3) that extends the online connectivity for the SUV. The optional 480W sound system comes from Harman Kardon.
Assisted Driving up to 210 km/h
Volkswagen is steadily moving towards autonomous motoring and those who use the Tiguan will be able to experience it with the new Travel Assist system. It is capable of providing assisted driving at speed up to 210 km/h. The system relies on systems including Adaptive Cruise Control (longitudinal guidance) and Lane Assist/lane keeping (latitudinal guidance).
For legal and safety-relevant reasons, drivers must permanently monitor the system – for this purpose, they must have at least one hand on the steering wheel. Thanks to new capacitive sensor technology in the steering wheel, it is sufficient if drivers merely touch it. However, if they let go of the steering wheel for more than 15 seconds, visual and audible warning signals and a braking jolt are issued and implemented. The driver must react by this point at the latest and touch the steering wheel, otherwise Emergency Assist is activated and the vehicle is brought to a stop.
As the Tiguan is assembled in Malaysia, it can be expected that this updated one will eventually be in local showrooms – although the R variant is unlikely to be a regular offering.
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