Touting its Australian-based global development work on advanced next-generation safety systems this week, the company’s local arm couldn't help also suggesting that its (generally European-oriented) ride and handling tunes were ideal for our road network already.
This idea goes contrary to brands such as Hyundai and Kia, which do extensive and critically lauded local calibration (and employ small, highly trained Australian labour forces to do so) on all their cars because their domestic-market tunes are unsuitable.
The German brand could be said to have a point, however, with our reviews on Volkswagen products often highly complimentary of the ride and handling.
“While it has been increasingly common place to hear of an overseas manufacturer adjusting ride and handling parameters for Australian roads prior to a vehicle’s local launch, Volkswagen vehicles typically do not require such calibration,” the company's otherwise technology-focused release boldly said, clearly sending a jab in the direction of Hyundai and co.
“However, over the past week, Australian motorists may have got a glimpse of a small fleet of German-registered, left-hand drive Tiguans on rural NSW roads. These vehicles, driven by a team of German-based Volkswagen engineers, were being used for the purposes of assessing new future technologies for Volkswagen passenger vehicles.”
The Volkswagen global team travelled from Sydney, across much of NSW and to the ACT, taking in Port Macquarie, Armidale, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Albury and Canberra.
The engineers were field-testing Volkswagen’s next generation of safety and assistance systems, including “advanced lane assist with traffic jam and emergency assist, high beam assist and pedestrian detection”.
The company says these next-generation (partially autonomous) technologies will be premiered with future updates of the new Tiguan and other forthcoming Volkswagen models.
“This latest period of local testing is a boon for Australian customers, ensuring the suitability of these technologies for Australian motorists; having been tried and tested in their own backyard,” the company claimed.
The new-generation Tiguan launches in Australia in the next few months, and is expected to turn around the average sales recorded by the company over the past few months — a consequence in some part blamed on a lack of outgoing Tiguan stock.
As you can read in our specifications story, the second-generation Tiguan will be laden with class-leading safety equipment including Front Assist, autonomous low-speed braking, lane assist, driver fatigue detection, an active bonnet, Multi-Collision Brake, parking sensors and a reversing camera.