The all-new 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is set to be on the market in the early part of next year, with the new seven-seat variant expected to closely mirror the regular Tiguan range.
The move will see the broad Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace range target some of the big-name seven-seat offerings in the segment, including the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Toyota Kluger and Mazda CX-9.
It may seem incongruous given the prefix in the name - Tiguan was once one of the smallest SUVs on the market, though the new-generation model grew substantially - and the Tiguan Allspace is even bigger again.
The wheelbase of the Tiguan Allspace is 110mm longer than the regular Tiguan (2790mm vs 2680mm), with the extra span between the wheels aimed at allowing better interior space, and a sliding second-row that allows access to the third row.
It's a fairly big thing, measuring 4712mm long, 1839mm wide and 1673mm tall, where the regular Tiguan is 4486mm long, 1839mm wide and 1658mm tall.
In fact, it's so big that Volkswagen Australia product marketing manager Jeff Shafer said the new Allspace model is expected to be classified in the large SUV segment under the official VFACTS documentation.
“We’ll offer a pretty comprehensive range in this car, likely similar to the Tiguan that is currently on sale at the moment," Shafer said. "As a point of difference to the current car, the Allspace will have seven seats as standard."
That will likely mean a range of drivetrains, including an entry-level front-wheel-drive petrol 1.4-litre four-cylinder variant (110TSI), a mid-range 2.0-litre turbo petrol all-wheel-drive version (132TSI) and, potentially, a higher performance 2.0-litre all-wheel-drive (162TSI). A pair of 2.0-litre turbo diesel versions with all-wheel drive (the 110TDI and 140TDI) may also be offered.
Volkswagen's Australian managing director, Michael Bartsch, said he sees SUVs as the area in which the company will see the most growth in the coming years, and a crucial missing link in the line-up has been a seven-seat SUV.
"The shift from the traditional sedan and hatch toward the SUV is going to continue," Bartsch said.
"That shift is significant. We see that with Tiguan, Touareg and even the Amarok, which is a commercial vehicle, but a lot of people are buying that as an SUV. There's not a big enough range - that's one of our main opportunities.
"In this business we're always impatient," he said. "It doesn't matter - as soon as we know there's an opportunity, we always want it tomorrow.
"I think it's well recognised that Volkswagen has been, for a long time, a little bit European-centric in its mix, and of course that's one of the challenges not only in Australia but the US as well.
"The positive is that we still have some very strong pillar models, and we're continuing to evolve the business in a growth direction."