Volkswagen Australia has just launched a sporty Tiguan derivative that uses the Golf GTI’s powerful turbo engine, but what about a hypothetical ‘Tiguan R’, or even Europe's existing 176TDI diesel range-topper with a mighty 500Nm punch?
Neither are on the radar for Australia, despite Volkswagen's local arm expressing its deepest desires to get its hands on one, or both.
“I would love a 206 [kW] Tiguan,” Volkswagen Australia’s product planning boss Jeff Schafer told us this week. “It’ a car that would really lend itself to an R model,” he added, citing the massive proportional sales of the Golf R here.
“There’s no plan that I am aware of, but we’d love to see it, and it’s certainly feedback we give [to Germany]. I’d be the first one to put my hand up in that direction.”
The Tiguan 162TSI Highline launched this week uses a 162kW/350Nm 2.0-litre engine, all-wheel drive and seven-speed DSG, and matches the hot FWD Golf GTI’s 6.5 second 0-100km/h time despite a 300kg weight impost.
At $48,490, it’s about $5000 pricier than a Golf GTI too, though the company kills off any more direct allusions by eschewing the Tiguan GTI moniker.
Irrespective of name, Volkswagen expects the 162TSI to account for 20 per cent of all Tiguan sales. This clearly prompts the question of an even hotter model to tap into the global SUV boom that remains such a hot-button issue.
The fact the Tiguan uses the same MQB architecture as the Golf means the idea of the Golf R’s 206kW/380Nm tuned engine and cleverer AWD system is surely feasible - at least from an engineering perspective, if not sheer demand.
Given the Tiguan 162TSI’s circa $5000 impost over the Golf GTI, we’d speculate on a base price of about $60,000 for a hypothetical Tiguan R with 206kW and AWD. We reckon that might be something…
Meanwhile, one global option that does exist is the European Tiguan 176TDI, with its 176kW/500Nm diesel engine.
However, Schafer told us that VW’s global operations did not engineer the car for hot climates, ruling it out despite his express wishes to get it here.
Have it out in the comments below. Should Volkswagen reconsider its decision not to turn the wick right up on the Tiguan?