Plug-in SUV spotted in Chinese-market specification, not for Australia

An undisguised plug-in hybrid Volkswagen Tiguan has been spied on the snowy roads of Sweden this week, previewing an upcoming variant of the popular SUV.

Despite being spotted in Europe, the Tiguan prototype pictured is actually in long-wheelbase Tiguan L guise – meaning it's a China-market version – wearing '430 PHEV' badges.

There's also a blue 'PHEV' badge in the front grille – positioned where the 'GTE' badge would normally go – along with unique C-shaped LED daytime-running lights in the front bumper, which are a signature design feature for Volkswagen's plug-in hybrid range.

Otherwise, the prototype looks pretty much the same as any other Tiguan L/Allspace, including the wheels, headlights, tail-lights and rear bumper treatments.

It's unclear what exactly will power the plug-in SUV, though the group of Golf GTEs in tow suggest the Tiguan L PHEV/Tiguan Allspace GTE will get the same 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine mated to an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack as its hatchback relative.

The current Mk7.5 Golf GTE claims outputs of 150kW and 350Nm from its hybrid system, along with a zero-emissions range of up to 50 kilometres and claimed fuel consumption of 1.5L/100km on the combined European cycle.

It's believed the production version of the Tiguan L PHEV will make its debut at the Beijing motor show in April, and we reckon a European version will follow shortly after that – similar to the Tiguan L/Allspace reveal schedule from a couple of years ago.

Australia

Volkswagen's local communications boss, Paul Pottinger, has ruled out a Tiguan hybrid – and the company's other PHEV models for that matter – for the Australian market.

The prototype seen here will likely be reserved for the Chinese market, at least initially.

"Electrification in Australia will come to be embodied by EVs from the ID family, not hybrids," said Pottinger.

Stay tuned to CarAdvice for more updates in the coming months. Click the photos tab for more images.