VW unveils Tiguan, a new hybrid plug-in concept car

Volkswagen unveiled its newest hybrid concept car at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show on Monday.

Mark Blinch/REUTERS
Front corner detail view of the Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept car as it is displayed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, January 11, 2016.

When the 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan was unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show last fall, a plug-in hybrid concept was among the featured variants.

Called the Tiguan GTE, it was never confirmed for production.

But now Volkswagen is showing a second Tiguan plug-in hybrid concept at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, hinting that the production Tiguan may in fact get a plug-in powertrain.

The Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active concept features more rugged styling than its predecessor.

The roof-mounted light bar, fender flares, and underbody protection dress up the production next-generation Tiguan, which uses the same MQB platform as the Golf and numerous other VW Group models.

Its powertrain, meanwhile, consists of a turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine and six-speed dual-clutch transmission, with two electric motors and a 12.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.

There is one electric motor for each axle, and the entire system is rated at 221 horsepower.

That's enough to get the Tiguan GTE Active from 0 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, and on to a top speed of 120 mph, according to VW.

Full performance is accessed through a sporty "GTE mode" like the one on the previous Tiguan GTE concept. It's one of several driver-programmable modes available.

The lithium-ion battery pack can also provide up to 20 miles of electric-only driving, at speeds up to 70 mph, the carmaker claims.

With sufficient battery charge, the driver can engage a "coasting" mode that shuts down the engine and electric motors, and temporarily disengages the entire powertrain.

On the inside, the Tiguan GTE Active features VW's next-generation infotainment system, including a 9.2-inch display screen, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

While the concept only seats five, Volkswagen will build a seven-seat Tiguan as well. That version will be offered in the U.S., the company confirmed at Detroit.

However, there is still no confirmation that a plug-in hybrid powertrain will be offered on production models.

Given that Volkswagen has said it plans to offer plug-in hybrid versions of most of its models, though, that seems likely.

The Tiguan itself will go on sale in Europe this spring, with U.S. sales following next year.

This article first appeared at GreenCarReports.

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