At the Detroit auto show, Volkswagen is showcasing the Tiguan GTE Active Concept. Intended for a rougher terrain, this is a reimagined version of the Tiguan GTE plug-in hybrid, as seen at the Frankfurt auto show last September.


Tiguan GTE Active Concept comes with a rough, off-road look and a stronger plug-in hybrid powertrain, consisting of 110 kW turbocharged gasoline direct-injection engine and two electric motors - front 40 kW and rear 85 kW. It supplies system power of 165 kW, which can be, if necessary, transmitted to all four wheels.

The concept car always starts off electrically in the zero-emission E-mode (with a top speed of 120 km/h), usually with a rear-wheel drive, but is also able to automatically make an instant switch to the front-wheel drive, if circumstances, such as loss of traction, demand so. The front electric motor is also engaged when the driver manually activates the four-wheel drive mode. The turbocharged gasoline engine kicks in only when it needs to. Energy comes from a 12.4 kWh lithium-ion battery that provides enough to juice for a 32-kilometer-long all-electric drive. Total reach is estimated at a little over 900 kilometers.

The concept also proves how versatile the new vehicle actually is. It is the first SUV based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB), displaying innovative space utilization as a plug-in hybrid. Moreover, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is equipped with safety systems (such as Front Assist including City Emergency Braking and pedestrian monitoring) and other drive-assisting tools, already known from the Tiguan. Volkswagen also implemented – for the first time in this class – a 9.2-inch touchscreen and gesture control, announcing the new generation of high-tech infotainment systems and digital instruments.

Jan. 11, 2016 Driving photo: Volkswagen

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