First Look At Hardcore 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan R

Spy Shots / Comments

Volkswagen's new performance SUV looks ready for production.

While Volkswagen hasn't made any official announcements yet, spy shots of camouflaged prototypes and leaked photos have shown the popular Tiguan SUV is getting a facelift for the 2021 model year. Volkswagen also offers a sporty R-Line version of the Tiguan, but there are no performance improvements since it's an appearance package.

Rumors have suggested Volkswagen is developing a high-performance R version of the Tiguan, but VW has remained silent so we were starting to lose hope. However, we now have proof the hardcore Volkswagen Tiguan R is finally happening as our spies have caught a prototype being tested in the snow alongside the new Golf R and Arteon R.

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While the front has been camouflaged to trick you into thinking you're looking at the Tiguan, the Tiguan R looks production-ready. At the front, the new headlights look like the lights found on the new 2020 Volkswagen Golf and the grille is slightly larger.

Elsewhere, the Tiguan R is fitted with a more aggressive-looking front bumper with large air intakes. At the back, there will be a diffuser between the quad exhaust pipes, which is missing on the prototype. Larger brakes with drilled discs and blue brake calipers also confirm we're looking at the high-performance R version of the Tiguan.

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Originally, the Volkswagen Tiguan R was expected to pack the same five-cylinder turbo engine as the Audi RS Q3, but it's more likely to get the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine that will power the new Golf R. A leaked document seemingly confirmed the next-generation Golf R will have 333 horsepower, so the Tiguan R will most likely have the same output. Power will be sent to all four wheels through a dual-clutch gearbox.

The timing of these spy shots suggests the Tiguan R will be introduced as part of the SUV's 2021 mid-cycle refresh, so the high-performance SUV could potentially debut at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show in early March.

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