Volkswagen America CEO Michael Horn spoke with CarAdvice just hours before the opening of the Detroit motor show, revealing that the next Tiguan will also be built in North America as well as Europe.
“Last year we announced the mid-sized SUV will be built … now we have the decision to move the long wheelbase Tiguan here,” Horn said.
“One thing is built on our mid-sized MQB platform [CrossBlue, below], the other on our compact MQB platform [Tiguan], so the interior space is totally different.”
Asked directly whether the next Tiguan would have a third row of seating, Horn answered: “yes”.
“If you take for instance the third row,” he continued, “[the] mid-sized SUV has up to best-in-class legroom space and it has superior headroom space. The third row in the compact SUV is more for emergency for smaller children, so the comparison, if the family wants a true seven-seater they will not consider the compact SUV. We clearly keep them apart.”
The CrossBlue will be built in the US in 2016, however, while the Tiguan will lag one year behind, “due early-mid 2017”, according to Horn.
The VW US boss also “absolutely” recognises that the current 4.4-metre-long Tiguan has been criticised for offering a small 395-litre boot, something which the company clearly plans to address for the next-generation model.
“Ask me? Something around 500 litres or something,” Horn tells as the engineering target for boot space for the next Tiguan.
“The Tiguan will be roughtly 4.7 metres long. The mid-sized SUV will be more than 5.0 metres long.”
Despite identifying the new Tiguan as a long-wheelbase model, Horn insists only one wheelbase will be used, with seven seats likely optional.
The current Tiguan will be nine years old by the time the new model comes to market, something Horn doesn’t seem too concerned about when it was asked whether the project was delayed.
“Not too much [delay],” he answered. “Europe we get the project at the same time … we had our experiences with the Sharan [people mover], which was more than 15 years in the market.
“Volkswagen is sometimes late, but we come very strong and we hit it hard”.