VW reveals Tiguan R because it needed more hot SUVs

2021 Tiguan Facelift-13

2021 Tiguan Facelift-13

Over its lifetime, more than six million have been produced, and the stage is set for Tiguan to receive a comprehensive update, including new interior and exterior styling, and innovative driver-assistance and comfort features. VW has also changed up its badging for the R-Line to be consistent with the new R badging it's already revealed.

A statement from Volkswagen says the new Tiguan "takes assisted driving one step further" with a new optional feature called Travel Assist.

The Euro-spec Tiguan will go on sale shortly, but Americans will have to wait until the fall of 2021.

Speaking of technology, the Tiguan has a new infotainment system with natural voice control, multi-phone pairing and wireless App-Connect. In addition to the top-shelf touchscreen, Tiguan SELs get a 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster, while the rest of the lineup gets an 8.0-inch display. Visual identifiers of the Tiguan R include beefier brakes, quad Akrapovic exhaust tips, silver side mirror caps, the R badge in place of the Tiguan script (like on the Touareg R), a dedicated R button on the steering wheel as well as blacked-out front and rear aprons.

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European customers will get a first of its kind Tiguan R that uses the same powertrain found in the Arteon R: an EA288 2.0 litre turbo-four with 320 PS (316 hp) and 420 Nm, with a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox handling power delivery to all four wheels through an all-wheel drive system.

Next generation modular infotainment system, digital cockpit is standard inside the new Tiguan.

Don't hold your breath for a hybrid or sporty version of the Tiguan for now. Maximum torque of 221 lb-ft is available from 1,600 to 4,360 rpm. In Canada, that's a 2.0-litre 184-hp four-cylinder backed by an eight-speed automatic, available in front-wheel-drive or with 4MOTION. All Tiguan models are equipped with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, and Start/Stop system, created to help improve fuel efficiency. That begins with its available Travel Assist system, which can take over steering, braking and acceleration of the new Tiguan at speeds of between 0 miles per hour 130 MPH.

Driver assistance tech has been updated too, with the new Travel Assistant system able to take complete control of the auto on the motorway at speeds of up to 210kmh by using the adaptive cruise control and lane assist systems. The driver activates the system by pressing a separate Travel Assist button on the new multifunction steering wheel, but must keep their hands on the steering wheel even when Travel Assist is active. Touch detection is a great deal more reliable than steering angle-based systems even on long and very flat stretches of road. Well, the mid-cycle update for the popular second-generation SUV also introduces a 180 kW plug-in hybrid variant, although it seems this model will be restricted to Europe for the time being.

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