The poor man's Audi SQ5?
The second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan has been around since 2017 and has been the best-selling model in the US for the past few years. But the competition has since caught up and it'll soon be time for some major updates. We just learned that a radical exterior styling update is planned, including a new hood and front end. The result will be a more dynamic and masculine-looking crossover further augmented by a new 100 percent LED front light design.
Via Skype, CarBuzz recently spoke with a group of VW officials directly involved in the project and it was revealed more Tiguan variants are expected. Speaking with Hein Schafer, Senior VP for Product Marketing and Strategy, we were told a more powerful engine option could certainly be possible.
Which begs the question: is there a Tiguan GTI coming?
"I think we're always looking at finding ways and means of finding more fuel-efficient engine options and, yes, with more horsepower," he said. "So I think the answer is 'yes.'" VW also previously confirmed it wants to "enrich the Tiguan's line-up with a performance version," though don't expect this to be a fully-fledged Tiguan R that will soon be sold in Europe. That vehicle will likely come powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 333 horsepower and have standard AWD.
Pricing, however, is a problem, at least in the US where a majority of buyers won't be willing to pay the premium. They'd just opt for an Audi Q5 instead.
That said, America will definitely receive a new Tiguan R-Line, which is really more of a styling package. But VW doesn't want to leave Americans without a high-performing Tiguan entirely, and the best solution could be the Tiguan GTI. VW already stated intentions to expand the GTI nameplate in the US, where it's only attached to the Golf GTI. In Europe, there's also the up! GTI and Polo GTI. Since neither are sold here, it'd make sense for the Tiguan to get the GTI treatment.
Another possible Tiguan variant up for consideration is an off-road accessory package. Like the recently revealed Atlas Basecamp, Schafer acknowledged VW has "received good feedback on the Atlas Basecamp… and that will eventually roll up to our SUVs." Will the Tiguan be included? "I think the fact that this car looks a little bit more sporty and little bit more on-road probably sets it up even better for the R-Line package. And potentially maybe the Basecamp or the off-road treatment could work really well on the smaller issue, (a future SUV) positioned below the Tiguan."
If we had to make a choice between a Tiguan GTI/GLI or a Tiguan Basecamp, we'd prefer the former. Based on Schafer's statements, it appears VW agrees. Expect the facelifted Tiguan to debut later this year as a 2021 model. Hopefully, the Tiguan GTI won't be too far behind.