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Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept Is a RWD-Based Sporty Hybrid in Detroit

One of the reasons we've always treated Volkswagen's Dieselgate fiasco with moderation is that, while we want industry justice to be served, kicking VW while it's down will only affect the array of innovative offerings coming our way. Case in point, the Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept, which offers an interesting melange of assets.
Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept 15 photos
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The last few years have accustomed us to eye-catching crossover concepts from Vee Dub and while this Tiguan is no exception, the focus is now placed on the tech developments. We are talking about an engineering proposal that aims to mix sporty driving with gas-electric efficiency and offroad potential.

At first, it might seem like we're dealing with a pumped-up version of the second-generation Tiguan, a vehicle that will cater to the American seven-seater market starting from 2017.

However, unlike your usual plug-in hybrid, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept uses an 114 hp RWD electric default driving mode. When the situation requires AWD to be engaged, or the driver wishes this to happen, a second electric motor (54 hp), placed at the front axle, kicks in.

The internal combustion engine part of the powertrain is covered by the expected TSI turbocharged, directed-injected mill producing 148 hp and 184 lb-ft of twist. This works with the front wheels, being mated to a custom six-speed DSG dual-clutch setup. Do keep in mind that the overall output of the powertrain sits at 221 hp.

What truly separates this concept from other GTE badges in the VW Group are the special driving modes. Using a dial on the center console, the driver can switch between On-Road, Sport, Snow, Charge (the TSI engine is used as a generator, charging the 12.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack) and Battery Hold. However, in a surprising offroad take, we also get to choose between the various rugged terrain situations, thanks to the Gravel, Sludge and Sand or Rocks modes.

In what appears to be a bit of an overwhelming setup, there's a second mode controller that lets the driver select between the default Hybrid mode and the GTE or EV modes.

When going all GTE, this Tiguan offers Golf GTI levels of acceleration (0 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds), while its top speed sits at 120 mph.

In keeping with the rugged terrain tech injection, the ground clearance has been raised from 7.1 to 8.9 inches, while 2play45/70 16-inch offroad tires ensure you can put all that to good use.

As for the cabin treatment, our attention was drawn by the 9.2-inch infotainment screen, which integrates Volkswagen's take on the gesture control trend. Furthermore, the driver is spoiled with the help of an Active Info Display placed in front of him. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are on the house.

While Volkswagen talks about a driving range of 580 miles, there's a long way from such figures to a development you can find in a showroom. For now, we're inviting you to check out the manly appearance of the concept in the gallery below.

press release
 

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