NEWS

Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept: First Look

img2075170440 1452401988806 jpg Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept; | Manufacturer image

CARS.COM

Looks like: VW wants to follow Jeep up the Rubicon Trail

Defining characteristics: Plug-in hybrid drivetrain, off-road styling cues, multimedia system with gesture recognition

Ridiculous features: Mud-bogging tires, touch-sensitive slider controls

Chance of being mass-produced: Underneath the tough-SUV design cues is the next-generation Tiguan, which is scheduled to arrive in 2017

The Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept is an off-road-oriented version of the second-generation Tiguan SUV, which is scheduled to arrive at U.S. dealerships in 2017. The concept has big knobby tires, aggressive exterior accents and a plug-in hybrid drivetrain — features that may not make it to the production model, at least initially — but other aspects, especially the interior, look production-ready.

Related: More 2016 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

The Tiguan GTE Active Concept is a few inches longer, wider and taller than the current Tiguan SUV, and its wheelbase is about 3 inches longer. Though the concept has seating for five like the current Tiguan, Volkswagen says the second-generation Tiguan will offer a third row. Off-road cues include aluminum front and rear skid plates, tow hooks, two roof-mounted LED spotlights and 16-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A tires.

The concept’s cabin styling is a modern take on VW’s current interior design. The leather upholstery’s pattern is the most daring aspect of the design, and tech features include a digital instrument panel, touch-sensitive slider controls and a 9.2-inch touch-screen multimedia system with gesture recognition.

Volkswagen says the plug-in hybrid drivetrain gives the Tiguan GTE Active Concept up to 20 miles of all-electric range and a total range of 580 miles. The system consists of a turbocharged gas engine, a front electric motor that’s in the six-speed dual-clutch transmission’s housing and an electric motor for the rear wheels. The front, rear or all four wheels can drive the SUV, and total system output is 221 horsepower.

The concept has 4Motion Active Control all-wheel drive, which is operated by a knob on the center console. It’s similar to Land Rover’s Terrain Response controller in that it includes on- and off-road driving modes, but it also has a mode to charge the plug-in hybrid system’s lithium-ion battery pack while driving and a Battery Hold mode designed to preserve the battery’s charge state.

Besides all-electric operation, the concept includes a GTE mode that harnesses the components of the plug-in hybrid drivetrain for maximum performance; in this case, that’s zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds and a top speed of 120 mph, according to Volkswagen. The concept’s all-electric top speed is 70 mph.

img 206841164 1452401997836 jpg img2075170440 1452401988806 jpg img2078864524 1452401994777 jpg img 208688206 1452401995736 jpg img2077941003 1452401993225 jpg img2077017482 1452401991742 jpg img2076093961 1452401990136 jpg img 204070601 1452402003408 jpg img2074246919 1452401986887 jpg img2073323398 1452401985336 jpg img2072368101 1452401983843 jpg img 203147080 1452402004802 jpg img 205917643 1452401998835 jpg img 204994122 1452402001688 jpg img 207764685 1452401996762 jpg img 206841164 1452401997836 jpg img2075170440 1452401988806 jpg img2078864524 1452401994777 jpg img 208688206 1452401995736 jpg img2077941003 1452401993225 jpg img2077017482 1452401991742 jpg img2076093961 1452401990136 jpg img 204070601 1452402003408 jpg img2074246919 1452401986887 jpg img2073323398 1452401985336 jpg img2072368101 1452401983843 jpg img 203147080 1452402004802 jpg img 205917643 1452401998835 jpg img 204994122 1452402001688 jpg img 207764685 1452401996762 jpg
Photo of Mike Hanley
Mike Hanley has more than 20 years of experience reporting on the auto industry. His primary focus is new vehicles, and he's currently a Senior Road Test Editor overseeing expert car reviews and comparison tests. He previously managed Editorial content in the Cars.com Research section. Email Mike Hanley

Latest expert reviews