Volkswagen wants Detroit Motor Show goers to momentarily forget about its ongoing diesel scandal and focus on its hybrid future with the new Tiguan GTE Active Concept.
In VW’s own words, it’s an “extreme off-road version” of the sportier Tiguan GTE plug-in hybrid concept we saw at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. As such, it’s based on the European specification, five-seater Tiguan, and not the North American model that will come to the U.S. in 2017 with a longer wheelbase and available seven-seat functionality.
Compared to the Tiguan GTE study, the Active model sports bigger wheels shod in off-road tires, increased ground clearance, added body cladding all around, skid plates, auxiliary spotlights on the roof, and the German brand’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.
It has a plug-in hybrid system that combines a 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline engine making 148hp and 184 lb-ft with two electric motors generating 54hp at the front wheels and 114hp at the rear, for a total system output of 221hp. The car starts in all-electric ‘E-Mode’ via the rear electric motor, but when there is loss of traction, the front wheels are engaged “within fractions of a second”. All-wheel-drive can also be activated manually through the 4MOTION Active Control or when GTE-mode is selected. The TSI gasoline unit drives the front wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.
VW says that the vehicle can cover up to 20 miles (32 km) in all-electric mode, while the driving range, based on a battery capacity of 12.4 kWh and a 16.9-gallon fuel tank, is 580 miles or 933 km. In E-mode, the Tiguan PHEV has a top speed of 70 mph or 113 km/h.