DETROIT -- Volkswagen showcased the versatility of its MQB platform with an off-road ready plug-in hybrid variant of the redesigned Tiguan compact crossover.
The Tiguan GTE Active Concept is a rugged imagining of the Tiguan GTE plug-in hybrid shown at the Frankfurt auto show in September. It sports bigger wheels and off-road tires, additional ground clearance, tougher body panels and VW’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.
The concept was shown to journalists on Sunday ahead of its debut at the Detroit auto show on Monday. The car showcases the design of the long-wheelbase Tiguan that will go on sale in the U.S. in 2017. It is based on the five-passenger Tiguan that recently went on sale in Europe.
Klaus Bischoff, VW brand head of design, said the concept’s headlights, grille, hood, front fenders and rear taillights will all appear on the U.S. Tiguan.
Bischoff said the extra length was added behind the B-pillar for more rear-seat legroom and to the rear overhang to better accommodate the optional third-row of seats planned for the U.S. Tiguan.
The Tiguan concept also displays the next phase of VW’s design language, one intended to make a stronger impact than its understated designs of late.
“We are going a little bit away from this educated, subtle style that is featured in the Jetta or Passat,” Bischoff said. “It has to be a lot more entertaining.”
The plug-in hybrid system combines electric motors at the front and rear with a 148-hp turbocharged, direct-injection gasoline engine -- all mated to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. The concept can be driven by the front, rear or all four wheels, depending on the driving mode and road conditions.
The system defaults in electric-mode with power from the 114-hp rear electric motor. The 54-hp front motor can be switched on automatically if the rear wheels slip or manually by the driver.