Volkswagen have recently made available via press release images and specs for their upcoming Tiguan compact SUV. The Tiguan will rub shoulders with the likes of BMW???s X3 and Range Rovers Freelander, neither of which are considered category killers so we expect the Tiguan will prove to be a formidable opponent.
VW are pitching their Tiguan as a technological tour de force and reading the spec sheet one would have to agree. So here is a brief rundown on what we can expect when the VW Tiguan goes on sale in Australia in early 2008.
Based on a modified version of the current VW Golf???s platform the Tiguan will feature VW???s 4MOTION permanent AWD set-up and feature the following standard and optional features
??? on-road and off-road mode
??? hill descent control system (off-road mode)
??? loose-surface ABS mode (off-road mode)
??? hill climb assist (off-road mode)
??? gear preselect ??? automatic versions (off-road mode)
??? automatic differential locks (off-road mode)
??? specific throttle and gearbox settings (off-road mode)
??? high spec models feature sat-nav / GPS system
??? high spec models feature rear-facing camera for reversing
??? optional ???Park Assist???
The last feature is perhaps the most interesting if a little gimmicky. The Tiguan can be optioned with a ???Park Assist??? function. If deployed it has the ability to steer itself into a park for you. This is about the only skill required in Australia to get a license and now even that is being taken away from us!
The dual mode ability of the VW Tiguan is what will set it apart from the opposition. Selecting ???off-road??? mode reprograms throttle control and gearbox settings and brings into play the various driver assist programs mentioned above.
Being based on the Golf the Tiguan logically makes use of the engines available in the Golf range. In Europe at least you can expect to choose from three force fed 4-cylinder TSI petrol engines delivering 110kW/125kW or 147kW and two 4- cylinder TDI turbo-charged Diesel engines of 103kW and 125kW. Transmission are likely to include automatic, manual and CVT options.
The VW Tiguan will come with a choice of front-ends, one for the school mum and the other for the more serious off-roader. The off-road front end features a 10 degree greater approach angle.
We will provide more detail when Australian spec information becomes available but for now it looks like the compact SUV segment is set for a shake-up.