While most medium SUVs are not known for their rock-scaling prowess, the Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active would like you to think differently for a moment.
While we’ve already seen the road-going Tiguan GTE Concept at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, the GTE Active at Detroit ditches the monster alloys and racy styling for chunky tyres, a raised ride-height, and a chunky off-roadable set of bumpers and wheel-arch extensions.
Underneath the kitted-out exterior lies a plug-in hybrid powertrain capable of covering 32 kilometres on electricity alone, with an electric motor on each axle. The motor does the work in normal circumstances in E-mode, with the front motor chipping in during low-traction driving.
A driver selectable 4Motion Active Control mode and GTE-mode lock in all-wheel-drive, bringing the GTE Active’s 110kW turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine into play. Along with the 40kW front motor and 85kW rear motor the GTE Active offers a combined 165kW of power.
The 4Motion system comes equipped with On-Road Comfort and Eco modes, Off-Road modes for Rocks, Sludge and Sand, Gravel, or Snow, a Sport mode, and a Charge mode to replenish the battery while driving.
Pushing the separate GTE Mode button allows full access to the vehicle’s 165kW by combining the electric and petrol powerplants, and adjusts the six-speed DSG transmission, accelerator, steering, and engine mapping for a more sporty feel.
To aid with off-road adventures, the Tiguan GTE Active comes equipped with an aluminium bash-plate up front, and full underbody protection, the front and rear bumpers have been lifted for better approach and departure angles, while the ride height increases from 200mm to 240mm.
A set of 16-inch alloy wheels clad in 245/70 R16 BF Goodrich mud terrain tyres adds to the GTE Active’s off-road prowess, while a custom roof rack featuring LED spotlights tops the package off.
On the inside, the Tiguan GTE Active features Volkswagen’s next-generation 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system, including gesture controls. The screen can be customised via ‘tiles’ or dedicated in its entirety to a single task.
Two tone Nappa leather, ‘Dragon Red’ interior highlights (to match the exterior), three-dimensionally patterned leather, and an Active Info Display in front of the driver complete the interior makeover.
Although a seven-seat variant of the new generation Tiguan will be made available, this concept utilises the five-seat body previously shown. Those looking for a more capacious Tiguan will have to wait until 2017.