Here's what could be under the hood.
When we last sat down with Volkswagen's recently appointed Chief Operating Officer Johan de Nysschen, he mentioned the idea of expanding the GTI and GLI nameplates in the US market. As for the highest tier R brand, de Nysschen said it might be a tougher challenge because those models carry a significantly higher price tag. Despite this claim, VW was recently spotted testing what appeared to be a Tiguan R prototype undergoing winter testing.
The Volkswagen Tiguan may not be the first model you'd think of for a performance variant but this wouldn't be the first time the company has released a model like this. Remember the Touareg R50? We last spotted the Tiguan R testing in the snow but our spy photographers have now captured it again, this time on the Nurburgring in Germany.
Images from the Green Hell show this is clearly a high-performance version of the Tiguan. Evidence includes massive wheels, aggressive chrome grille, sporty front and rear bumpers, large intercooler, quad exhaust pipes, and signature blue brake calipers. As you can see, the prototype is wearing very little camouflage, meaning it should be nearing its production debut. The Tiguan R was spotted testing alongside other prototypes including the upcoming Golf R and Arteon R, both of which also appeared to be close to production specification.
Early rumors claimed the Tiguan R would use the 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine from the Audi RS Q3, RS3, and TT RS. While this would have been ideal, recent indications point towards the Tiguan R using the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that will sit in the eighth-generation Golf R. Output is expected to sit at 333 horsepower (according to leaked documents) with power going to 4Motion all-wheel-drive through a DSG dual-clutch transmission.
Based on what we were told by de Nysschen, we wouldn't hold out too much hope for the Tiguan R to come stateside. It would simply be too expensive. However, there could be a business case for a Tiguan GTI with the 245-hp version of the 2.0-liter turbo-four.